Actions

Work Header

Feral

Chapter Text

There is a monster in the Musutafu city forest.

This, the locals know.

Enter the forest and you will never return.

This, they claim. 

 

The growth of trees stands tall, dark, and menacing.

Passing nearby sends shivers down your spine and the hairs on your neck spring up as an overwhelming feeling of being watched surrounds you. It puts the person on edge and holding in their breath as they hurry along, eager for the forest to get its sights off them. Eager to get away from the shadows that shift and moves on the edge of your vision, eager to shy away from the flashes of green narrow eyes judging you, eager to block out the tittering sounds that travel through the branches.


One year a group of teenagers enters the forest in a test of courage, unafraid and challenging.


Out of the five teenagers that entered the Musutafu forest, only three returned a few hours later terrified and weeping. 


A few days later the fourth stumbles out of the forest injured, bleeding, and nearly incomprehensible as he blithers and blabbers on about the green eyes that pierce through your soul as he ran and ran. The sharp claws that would slam down in the spot he was just moments before, snapping small trees and branches as though they were nothing more than twigs in its path. The feral grin with its dozens of needle-sharp teeth that twists its face in crackling laughter as he stumbles about on his injured leg, hobbling, as if this was nothing more than a game to the creature.


The fifth, and final of the group was never found. The search parties finding nothing, other than the uncomfortable feeling of being watched, judged.


The locals in Musutafu soon avoid the woodland altogether, in fear of being snatched away by whatever sort of monster resides in its depths.

 



Oh, it’s a beautiful, absolute wonderful day, the green haired boy decides.

He simply loves this time of the season! Where he can comfortably run and jump and play without worry of overheating.

The air has a slight chill to it letting him puff out his fur in a pleased manner. Soon the leaves on the tree will be turning all sorts of colors, falling from their owners and onto the ground where he can jump and nip at them from the air.

He likes to play a game where he tries to catch as many leaves in his mouth in one fell swoop – he can catch four, so far! His highest record that he is rather proud of, but! He is determined to beat it this leaf-fall! This season he will catch five! Or perhaps even six! He has gotten bigger since the last leaf-fall season, with longer legs that will allow him to jump even higher into the air, that will allow him even more time to swipe at his colorful leafy prey.


But, that won’t be for a while yet. The leaves are still very much green, just beginning to be touched by color. Still firm in staying right where they are for yet another few weeks.


The furred creature sighed.


What to do today, he wonders.


It’s a beautiful, wonderful day, yes, this is true. But it doesn’t stop him from being bored, running around loses its luster after a while, of course.


He wonders if he should go to the edge of his territory to see if that two-leg left more snacks about.

But no, he was just there yesterday, wasn’t he?

The two-leg only stops by to drop off tasty cream and small treats every few days. The green haired boy is aware the delicious goodies are meant for the cats that roam around in the forest and city- but he simply cannot help himself! They are too good to pass up! Especially the cream! There is nothing he can hunt or find in his forest that tastes even close to the richness, smoothness, delectable, creamy liquid. He’ll usually greedily guzzle down half the bowl, in his two-legged form, and leave the rest for the forest cats milling about. The substance is intended for them, and they usually get snippy if he leaves them none to drink.


The treats left out are not as tasty as the cream, usually bits of stale meat and small, dry, hard pellets that make his nose scrunch in displeasure. The cats, however, seem to enjoy them nonetheless, so he leaves them be.


The creature shakes his furred head, long ears flapping as he does so. Oh, just thinking about that makes his stomach growl in hunger – perhaps he could hunt? He remembers scenting deer to the north of his territory just this morning, it’s been quite some weeks since he last had a taste of the animal. And they can usually feed him for a few days!

Yes, that sounds oh so very nice, he decides.


He jumps forward on his long slender legs, and dashes past his bushes, trees, and undergrowth, scenting the air for the hints of the hooved animals. With how big his beast form is you would think the boy would be loud, crashing through the forest. But no, he is fast and quiet. Sneaky and swift as his green fur blends him into the background of the forest around him. He runs on silent paws and claws towards the bend of the upcoming river and slows down once he gets closer and the scent of deer, stronger.

There is not many bushes to hide his bulky form near the river, so, he shrinks down into his much smaller form and crouches low to the ground.


His two-legged form is so much weaker than his bigger, stronger, beast form. At its default he doesn’t have his claws, doesn’t have his long ears shooting above his head to pick up the slightest of sounds, doesn’t have his long tail that swishes behind him, doesn’t even have his fur! Other than the shaggy, messy bit on top of his head. Where his creature form is all sorts of shades of green, his smaller form is pink and squishy, and so much colder! He feels vulnerable without the mess of fur that has a constant presence on his bigger form, wrapping around him in a layer of comfort.


But this form does come in handy in the hot season of green-leaf, where so much fur leaves him to feel overheated and exhausted.

Well even so, it’s not like he can’t… alter this form.

He discovered a few seasons back that he can take aspects of his beast form and apply it to his two-leg one. His blunt nails can become sharp and furred, his short pointy ears spring out farther until they trail after his head, his tail sprouts forward from his spine and curls around his leg, his bare chest and back and be covered in the comforting weight of his fur.


His fangs poke at his bottom lip as he grins and inches forward towards the brown animals. His eyes dart around, taking in the group, looking for – there! A single deer near the edge of the hoard, away from the others as it nibbles on some leafy ferns growing near the river edge. The boy silently creeps towards it, avoiding small twigs, and brushing against the long grass, green eyes never straying from its target. The deer completely oblivious to the danger it is currently in.


The small boy is about to pounce forward to slash at the brown-furred animal, when there is a commotion that crashes and echoes throughout the woodland. The heads to the deer shoot up and take off into the opposite direction of the loud disturbance. The green-eyed boy looks on in shock at where the deer had been just moments before. He could easily catch up to them in his beast form, he knows, and even have fun with a chase!


But.


He swallows down his rising outrage and glances in the direction of the still loud noises.


He was bored, was he not?


The boy shifts into his beast form and grins a feral filled to the brim of sharp needle teeth.


Oh, he could make a game out of this, he bets.

 

 

Chapter Text

There was once a couple who loved each other with their very souls.

A woman with hair as green as the pines on trees. Her sparkling curious eyes as green as freshly cut grass. A smile so soft and bright like the morning sun you cannot help but to stare.

A man wild, wild hair, curly and free, black as the night. His sharp, slitted eyes as red and bright as a volcanic eruption. A smile that no matter what, comes out looking just a bit feral with his two long fangs, an ever-presence, plastered upon it.

The two wanted to become three.

And three they became.

But, not for long.

Three, once again, became two.

The third, was a small baby. Just as soft and wild as its mother and father. With its wild, wild forest green hair. Its sparkling sharp eyes that were an explosion of greens. A soft smile that would soon turn just a bit feral, with sharp fangs that would rival the sun itself.

The man couldn’t help but look at the child with a great sadness that spilled over in his grief.

Without the woman he was not sure if he could raise their child, how could he?

But.

The child reminded him so, so much of her.

So, he took the baby home.

That was a mistake.

The child’s quirk came early.

The child already reminded the man so much of the woman, with her soft smile, and bright eyes, but. The greens of which the child wore when it shifted into its quirk, the perfect, perfect combination of both the man and women mingling in something that can no long be, really hit the man hard with a fresh wave of grief and longing at what is no more. Greens as dark as the ever-forest, greens as bright as freshly cut grass.

Green, green, oh so green, covered the child from head to toe.

The man simply couldn’t bear it.

So.

He scooped up his now green, furry, child and coaxed him to shift back with gentle words. The child of course, happily obliged, as it looked to the man with love and adoration in its eyes.

There is a forest nearby, this the man knows. This is where he goes.

He walks there on foot with the child in his arms as it blabbers in excitement, those small, cute fangs on full display.

The man walks and walks until he reaches the edge of the forest, and continues to walk into it, entering.

He walks and walks until the sounds of the city cannot be no longer heard, and even then, he continues to walk.

He walks by the rustling ferns, and swaying trees that whisper sweet nothings. He walks by riverbeds that trickle in its anticipation. He walks by the curious animals that stop, and stare, and watch.

He comes to a clearing and the man stops walking.

He gently awakens the child that had just started to calm and doze in his arms, who blearily blinks its sleepy, green eyes at the man.

The man smiles gently down at the child.

And places it down on the ground.

The child looks at its surroundings, taking in the whole forest in those big, curious eyes of its, before training them back on the man.

“Papa?”

The man’s heart clenched, but he continued in his smiling at his child as he crunches down.

“Papa needs to go somewhere, alright?” the man rumbled, “So, I want you to wait here for me until I come back, ok? Can you do that for papa?”

The child blinked up at the man, “You promise you’ll come back?” it asks a bit hesitantly, unsure.

The man smiles sadly and extends his pinky to his child, his only reminder of what once was.

“I promise,” he whispers softly, as if afraid the forest will overhear.

The child flashes its bright, fanged, smile.

And watches as the man stands up, pats down his clothes, and walks off and out of the forest.

The child sat there and waited for him to return.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Waited until the sky turned dark.

Waited as the child hesitantly called out for the man.

Waited as the forest swayed, and rustled, and chatted, and buzzed.

Waited as the child shivered in the cold night that settled in.

Waited as the child was afraid if he moved, the man wouldn’t be able to find it.

Waited as the sky lightened up once more.

Waited until its stomach growled and pained.

Waited until the forest is casted in shade and light once again. And again.

Waited.

 

 

 

Until it didn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Two became one.

 


 

 

Aizawa Shouta is tired.

 This is nothing short of unusual. However today was his day off. A day he planned on using to catch up on some (much) needed sleep, to do some (much) needed shopping to restock his stash of jelly pouches, coffee, and cat food. He would then go out with Hizashi and Nemuri, pretending to be dragged out of his house against his will. Before he goes home and back into his sleeping bag to get ready to teach the next morning.

Or well, that was the plan.

A plan that very much did not follow his wishes.

It started with Bastard deciding that he now has a sudden vendetta against Shouta’s very existence, as he sudden cannonballs from the ceiling fan- (how did he even get up there) -and deemed Shouta’s gut as an appropriate landing area, causing him to jump up cursing and swearing every single piece of hair on the feline himself. Bastard merely gave him a very smug expression as if he had finally fulfilled his destiny in being Shouta’s personal hell machine on legs and walked out of the room with a prominent Meow, as if saying, “You may as well feed me since you’re awake already.”

Shouta mutters under his breath as he stumbles out of his room, irritated and more tired than he did when he fell asleep.

He enters the kitchen and glances at the stove top clock, ignoring Juice Box as he jumps up on the counter and trills in greeting.

5:32 a.m., the oven mocks.

Oh fantastic.

 


 

 

After inhaling more coffee than should be even remotely healthy for the human body, Shouta steps through his apartment doorway and, briefly pats down his jumpsuit to confirm that yes, he has his keys, and closes the door with a click. His footsteps echoes throughout the hallway as he makes his way over to the elevator.

There is a ding! as its doors swing open and Shouta’s nose twists as it is instantly assailed by the smell of burnt fabric. Heavy boots stomp forward and out steps who Shouta recognizes as the Lightening Whip hero, Scarlet.

Dressed in a crop top, combat shorts and boots and armed with not only her famous whip but also a massive broad sword that is more likely to cause blunt trauma than actually slice through anything. The brightly dressed hero grunts in greeting as she passes Shouta by and off to her own apartment for what he guesses is some much-needed sleep.

God, Shouta wishes that was him.

But instead of turning around and falling back into the bliss that is called his bed, he steps in the elevator and selects the ground floor. Metal doors slide shut and the floor jerks before starting its decent downwards.

He would rather get his shopping done for the day so he can have some time to himself before Hizashi and Nemuri come crashing through his door and abducting him to who knows where.

The elevator shutters to a stop and Shouta steps out of it and then through the doors leading to the city.

He stands in front of the build and blinks.

Huh, he muses as the wind smelling of a crisp fall, gently ruffles his hair, it’s going to be a rather nice day today.

Shouta loves autumn. Truly it is the only time of year where he can justify wearing an all-black jumpsuit without either boiling or freezing to death. The crisp smelling air that sends a shiver of absolute content, is only an added bonus.

The dark-haired man hums softly under his breath as he makes his way down the sidewalk, the sun already on its way to climbing up in the sky.

 

Shouta slips in a fourth box of jelly pouches into his shopping basket.

He makes his way along the isle, passing by a muttering shopper. Glancing in his direction he can see the man with his hand covering his mouth while almost glaring at the selection of brands in front of him as if they personally offended him.

He looks away from the indecisive man and towards to cat food that he is making his way towards.

The brand he usually buys is sold out.

Shit.

He purses his lips. His cats are very picky, ungrateful eaters. If they do not approve of their food they will glare at Shouta as if he had tried to feed them the most disgusting filth on the planet, and refuse to even go near their meal until he fixes his mistake.

It’s Shouta’s turn to glare at the store merchandise as he knows he needs to get this choice right the first time to avoid coming back here once again so soon to appraise the devil felines.

He is turning one of the boxes in his hands to get a better look when a gunshot and several screams ring throughout the store.

The Erasure hero slightly curses, because of course this has to happen on his day off, and ducks low to the ground. There is some raised shouting coming from the front of the store and he carefully crawls his way towards the ruckus.

He peaks around from the isle he is crouching behind, making sure he is hidden from view, and takes in the scene.

There, in front of a panicked looking cashier, is a villain pointing a gun and demanding more and more money to be placed in the duffle bag on the counter. The young teenager looking to be on the verge of tears as he fumbled with the register and scoops out the stacks of cash and complies.

The villains back is towards Eraserhead.

The dark eyed hero narrows his eyes and reaches into his scarf to pull on his signature yellow goggles. He carefully snatches a box of Tic-Tacs and stalks his way forward. The candy container goes flying overhead and clatters into an isle off to the side of the two.

The villain whips around to the source of the noise, training his gun away from the kid and, that’s all Eraserhead needs before he is darting forward with his capture weapon, pinning the villain’s arms to his sides. The villain goes tumbling down on the ground with a swift kick to the head, falling unconscious.

“Oh thank god,” the kid sobs with relief, “Oh thank god, thank you. Thank you so much.” He blubbers.

Shouta nods at him, “Call the police, kid.” Grunting, he leans down and unwraps his capture weapon, as he digs through his pockets for zip ties to contain the villain in case he should wake up.

The cashier who most definitely doesn’t get paid enough to be put through a villain attacking their store, nods his head with vigor and fumbles with a phone, as if he can’t dial the number fast enough.

Shouta is just finishing tying the man up when he hears a very sudden gasp and a, “Look out!” Before he gets bashed upon the head from behind.

Eraserhead collapses to the ground hard, and the world r i n g s.

His world is covered in fog as he tries to stumble upright, grasping for purchase.

A figure runs past him and grabs at the bag laying on the counter and bolts out the door. With blurry eyes he recognized the man as the shopper from before.

Eraserhead curses and runs after the villain, calling out the kid once again to call the police before he nearly trips out of the store.

Shit, he might have a concussion.

But he doesn’t have time for that as he catches sight of the runaway down the street and leaps after him.

The Erasure hero is swiftly catching ground to the thief, a fact they seem to be aware of as well as they make a sudden turn down a less populated street.

The man’s arm suddenly shifts and grows rapidly as it is replaced with a long, pink tentacle, that whips to the owner’s side knocked down trashcans in an attempt to slow down his pursuer.

The scarfed hero merely jumps over them, and flashes his quirk, causing the villain’s arm to suddenly shift back into a normal, human arm.

“Fuck!” the walking takoyaki cursed. Swiveling his head from side to side desperately looking for an escape route.

He must have came to a conclusion because he swerved abruptly to the right and run with a new fire in his steps.

Eraserhead studied the path ahead of them and noticed the villain’s path is leading straight into a heavily forested area.

 Is he hoping he’ll get lost?

Shouta’s headache starts to throb and pulse as it splits open between his eyes and a wave of nausea come clawing forward.

He ignores it and pushes on.

The villain glares behind his shoulder back at the dark-haired hero and activates his quirk, letting his arm shift into tentacles to whip at Eraserhead. No longer looking where he is running however, causes him to shoulder-check a tree and lose his balance.

Eraserhead takes this as a chance and grabs at his capture weapon, sending it flying to wrap around the man’s leg, tripping him into the forest floor.

The villain’s hands slam into the earth and Shouta’s grip on the man’s legs loosen as they turn into jelly and slip through the bindings. He curses, annoyed, and erases the man’s quirk once again and dashes forth.

Scrambling on all fours, wanting to get as far as possible from the hero, the villain panickily searches his overcoat for something, anything to get him out of this mess.

Shaking fingers closes around the handle of a dagger and jumping up to his feet he takes a wild swing at the goggle wearing hero.

Grabbing onto the villain’s arm, Eraserhead swiftly twists it as the villain screams in pain. The sudden noise causes absolute agony to shoot up into Shouta’s head, face scrunching as it rings and bounces in his ears.

His grip loosens on the villain’s arm, as he jerkily yanks it from his grasp, the limb automatically shifting and striking the hero with lightening speed. The dagger slashes into Shouta’s shoulder and down his chest, and suddenly the Erasure hero’s back is slamming into the ground as his feet are swept under him.

Grinding his teeth as his nerves alight in an agonizing pain, stars bursting behind his eyes. Cracking them open he rolls off to his side to avoid another swipe of the dagger wielding tentacle, the blade catches in the ground and is retracted with a curse.

The villain throws back his arm once more with a sneer twisting his face, and Shouta needs to dodge. But his vision is blackening around the edges, his head feels as though it’s been stuffed full of cotton, and his senses are assailed with blood coating his mouth, his nose. Raising his head sends the world into triples as it spins around.

There is a crashing thump and a sickening crunch of bone crushing, a shrilling scream that shoots through the air that causes Shouta’s eyes to fly open, not even noticing that he had closed them in the first place.

Thrashing in place is the villain, screaming and grabbing at the maw of some creature. Narrowed slitted eyes green as toxic waste. Sharp pointed teeth that digs just a little bit farther into the man it’s holding as he jerks in its hold, ripping a new scream in an even higher pitch. Green green fur that covers it’s head, shoulders, giant paws, and stops a way down its back. It’s hind legs glistens in the autumn sun and shines in a multiple rainbows of green. A swishing long tail that crashes through the undergrowth powerfully.

The creature drops the now limp form of the villain with a nauseating splat. It looks down at the man’s prone form and takes one of its large paws to nudge him slightly. Getting no response, it huffs almost irritability as if it was not expecting its prey to give up so easily.

It shifts slightly and focuses its very green, dangerous eyes onto its other guest.

Shouta doesn’t dare to look away. Doesn’t dare to move. To breathe.

He doesn’t think he can even if he wanted to.

Through his rapidly spotting vision he can see red, red blood dripping down the beast’s fangs and chin.

Its long ears swivel forward and takes a healthy step over the limp body slowly bleeding out. It stops in front of Shouta and leans its massive head near his, giving him a front row view of those flesh-ripping teeth and eyes freezing him in place. The creature sniffs at him, exhaling hot putrid air into his face and pauses.

It noses at Shouta’s shoulder quickly and he can’t help but let out a muffled groan in pain. Whipping its head backwards, the beast studies him for a moment, eyes glinting. Tilting its head, it leans down once again, mouth splitting open and flashing its white and red teeth and settles around Shouta’s midsection as it straightens back up with him now hanging from its jaws.

Shouta grips at the fur covering the creature’s neck as a new fresh wave of vertigo slams into his stomach. The beast moves abruptly and the world slams black.

 


 

There is a ringing in his ears and an insistent beeping that grates on Shouta’s nerves.

Cracking open an eye he is met with sterile, white walls and an annoying bright cockatoo playing on a Nintendo Switch.

Shouta groans.

The cockatoo snaps to attention, “SHOUTA! You totally missed our very awesome, very fun evening!” tossing the device to the side table Hizashi gives his best friend a pout. “Why’d you have to go get hurt, huh?! A party isn’t as enjoying with only two people showing!”

“I’ll remember that next time I get mauled, thanks” he replies drily, and shuffles in bed until his upper body is vertical.

The living embodiment of a headache snickers and slightly shakes his head, hair loosely following suit. “That’s the spirit!” he punctures with an enthusiastic finger to his non-injured shoulder. “Gotta say though, you had me and Nemuri worried for a bit! A concession and blood-loss isn’t too pretty, and any longer you probably wouldn’t have made it.”

Shouta grunts and rubs at his head, fingers brushing against the bandages that wrap around. Narrowing his eyes, he realizes he doesn’t really remember just what the hell happened.

He says as much to Hizashi.

The blond sombers briefly, “Well, they said you were found outside the forest in Musutafu.” A forest? “A young boy was the one to find you, actually. Locals have been avoiding that area for years now. He went and ran up to people until they followed him back and found you and that villain you must have been chasing, they got ahold of the paramedics pretty soon afterwards and BAM!” he throws his hands out in a dramatic flare “Here you are!” he finishes his tale.

Shouta frowns. Something itching the back of his mind. “What of the boy?”

“I’m not sure.” He hums, “They said by the time the locals called medical help, he was already gone.” Leaning back in the hospital chair he grabs at his gaming device and boots it back up. “Not like I can really blame the kid, there’s some nasty rumors going on about a monster haunting those woods.” He shivered.

Shouta blinks.

Thrashing in place is the villain, screaming and grabbing at the maw of some creature. Narrowed slitted eyes green as toxic waste. Sharp pointed teeth that digs just a little bit farther into the man it’s holding as he jerks in its hold, ripping a new scream in an even higher pitch.

It shifts slightly and focuses its very green, dangerous eyes onto its other guest.

Shouta doesn’t dare to look away. Doesn’t dare to move. To breathe.

He doesn’t think he can even if he wanted to.

His mouth suddenly tastes of blood that is no longer there. He is plunged down into icy waters that sends shivers down his spine. How did he survive that?

“I think,” he starts off slowly, “I think I came across that very monster.”

The living cockatoo slips off his chair with a clatter, screaming.

 “You, WHAT!?”

Ah, the glorious return of Shouta’s headache.

 


 

 

Later that night as Shouta slips his key into his apartment building and enters through the doors, he stops.

He rifles through his items the hospital so graciously threw in a bloody, plastic bag. Ignoring Mocha as she twines around his legs.

Stopping his search after the third attempt he comes to the conclusion that yes, his goggles are in fact, missing.

They must’ve fallen when he got knocked onto his ass.

Thumping his head on the doorway, Shouta lets out a groan.

Chapter Text

There is a child in the forest.

This, it knows.

Pitched wails pierce through the air, distressed and desperate.

Humans leaving behind children and friends alike, is nothing short of unusual. Pranks, abandonment, and just foolishly getting lost in its forested depths is only to be expected, as the forest sits back and watches, unconcerned.

But with this child, it’s different.

Where squirrels and birds would take off at the hint of a human getting too close, they instead lean forward, watching. Cowardly deer hesitantly inch onwards, unsure. Frogs cease their croaking. Chipmunks, mice, and rabbits still in their foraging. Foxes disregard the now oblivious hunting. Badgers poke their heads out of their dens and listen. Cats gather to look.

The entire forest stills and holds its breath.

The child’s cries tamper out into whimpers, fragile and heartbroken. For reasons the forest doesn’t understand, it wishes to reach out – to comfort this child who was thoughtlessly abandoned by its very own kin. To make it its own.

And so.

That is exactly what it did.

 


 

[Why are you upset, young one?]

 


 

Turning the hard material in his hands the green-eyed boy frowns.

He’s not sure what its purpose is. The two-leg cladded in black carried the item around his eyes.

Why?

He examines it closer.

Bright yellow in color with many indents lining throughout that dip into a cool clear surface on its inside. A thin strap surrounds and wraps around to connect the two sides.

He thinks back to the two-leg and hesitantly slips it over his own head, brushing his fingers over his wild, untamable curls. Holding the strange item by its sides, the boy puts it up to his eyes.

Dark lines obstruct his view. Swinging around still holding the eye gear tightly against his face, he moves around, hoping over dead branches and onto a rather large boulder where he sits.

Humming in the back of his throat he lets go of the yellow eyesore. Where it slips off his head and around his shoulders, too loose for it to stay properly.

Honestly, just how did he fight with that on?  He huffs.  It’s probably the reason he got jumped on in the first place.

The boy’s tail twitches.

He might’ve…. Gone a bit too far when he reached the two-legs.

He only wanted to play! He wasn’t originally planning on showing himself, but rather play a game of hide-and-seek.

Making it obvious that he was there, leaving hints, being barely on their edge of sights as they would whip around trying to locate him.

Sometimes they would shout, stomp, and run about. Other times they would be visibly unnerved, their scent spiking in fear at something they cannot see.

The creature found it a bit amusing.

After the first time he encountered two-legs, the green-haired boy tries to stay a healthy distance away from them.

Furred fingers clutch at the loose cloth material covering his upper body.

Bones crushing under his paws, as he pounces on the body hardly bigger than his own in this form. A scream of agony cut short but a strangled gurgle that reverberates through his skin.

A limp body that now lays at his feet as his companion’s fear spike up to new levels, starring at the forest creature with pure terror in their eyes.

Two-legs were so…... fragile compared to himself.

But part ways there the overwhelming stench of blood sang in the air. For some reason it sent his hair on end as if he vaguely recognized it scent.

He should’ve stayed out of this. It wasn’t any of his business to intrude in on a fight between two-legs of this extent.

Not when it could easily turn on himself.

Arriving on the scene however, taking in the looming two-leg about to go for the kill had him momentarily seeing red as he struck into soft flesh.

Paws softly pad towards him and he side-eyes the white cat that invites itself onto his rock.

[Found a new toy, did you?] The cat, that he has now dubbed White, meows. [You stink, by the way. You reek of blood.]

This was true. He had not yet visited the river to wash off the now flaking bits of blood that dots his back, face, and neck. [I’ll clean up later.] He shrugs. [It’s not my fault if you come unannounced.]

[You say that, but you love it when I do. You like my company!] Came the smug reply.

He absolutely does.

Ever since he was given his own territory, he’s been terribly lonely.

When he was younger, he lived with a large group of cats on the other side of the river. They looked after him, hunted for him, taught him how to survive as he eagerly took in the information. The green furred creature thrived on their affection, their care, their touch. They didn’t seem to mind that he was much bigger than them, only growing more and more as the seasons went by.

No, it was his smell.

Once he grew a certain age, his scent… mutated into something stronger. It clouded their sense and downright made them confused at times.

When he asked about it, the cat looked somewhat shameful as they answered, [You smell like an enemy that makes my hair stand on end. But at the same time, you smell as though you were my own kin. I want to run from you, attack you, and stand by you all at once. I’m sorry, Green One.]

Most couldn’t stand it.

But a few didn’t seem to mind it.

White eyes his green friend. [So, are you aware that one of your toys is trying to break free from your blue pelt thing? Cause it’s about to fall out.]

The cat ducks down to avoid a flying arm as the boy yelps in surprise. He looks down and notices that yes, the blade he looted borrowed from one of the two-legs this morning has broken through the cloth pouch, and precariously starting to fall through its newly made hole.

He grabs at it.

Looking down at the now torn cloth he groans. He loves this pouch, its existence makes it so much easier to carry items and small game around, leaving his hands and mouth free to do whatever he wishes.

Putting the blade in there probably wasn’t his smartest decision, but hey. He was a bit preoccupied getting two bleeding two-legs out of his forest.

He wonders if they’re alright.

[Hello? Are you ignoring me?] An irritable meow rang out. [I asked you if you were up for some hunting, did you eat yet?]

Grimacing, he thumbs the cool surface of the sharp blade. [Ah, no.] He admitted. [It’s been a rather… busy day for me.] He recalled the blood coating his mouth, the temptation to bite harder, down to the bone and let the sensation wash through him. The shame that hit him afterwards. [I’d rather clean myself and sleep, I think.]

Standing up he stretched, arms reaching the heavens, hand still wrapped tightly around the blade’s handle.

Straightening out he examines it, watching the light of the dying sun catching on its reflective surface.

He’ll just have to carry it, he supposes.

White hops down from the rock and waves his tail. [Suit yourself. I’ll just go on my own then] He sniffs. [Go on then, leave me for the company of some fish instead of myself.] With that said, the feline walks off, nose high in the air in mock offence.

A snort escapes fanged lips.

How dramatic.

 


 

Waddling against the weak waters current, the boy slowly makes his way deeper. His blue cloth shedded and laying in a crumpled heap under the new blade and yellow… thing by the river’s edge.

Ducking under, he stays there for a few moments. Eyeing the small fish that follow the rivers path, scanning the riverbed as he strokes his feet over them. The stones are perfectly smooth and slimy.

He liked the sensation.

Head breaking the water’s surface, he takes a gulp of air and slightly shakes his ears, getting rid of the extra droplets.

Cupping water he splashes some to his face and scrubs at it, and the last traces of stubborn blood melt away. He shallowly dips his head under once again and quickly yanks it back, spitting out the excess liquid.

For a while the boy just stays still, floating softly along the river. Listening to the forest as night creeps into its leafy terrain.

He thinks of the black-cladded two-leg.

The boy isn’t still isn’t sure why he interfered like that. Hurting that two-leg all those seasons ago brought scores of other, bigger two-legs that stomped around. Flooding their stink like a miasma.

In and out they came, over and over. For a full moon.

It left the forest uneasy.

He frowns.  

He carried the two out of his territory. The black one in his mouth, and the one smelling of fish onto his back.

It was a bit awkward as the two-leg was very gangly and long. His feet limply scrapping the dirt as he moved onwards.

After removing them, it was only a simple matter of getting another two-legs attention.

Easy, when their land is crawling with them.

The boy blinks.

Nighttime is here in full bloom, now.

Paddling out of the water his feet touches the ground and instantly soaks it. His tail swishing to and fro as he makes his way upstream to gather his things.

Wringing out his floppy ears the boy notices White standing guard over his belongings, a dead squirrel and mouse laying by the feline’s side.  

Perking up at his arrival, White takes a paw and bats the squirrel forward.  

[For me?] The boy replied with amusement as he slips the cloth over his head. The fabric swallows him whole.

White gives him a flat look in return.

Swooping down he picks up the offering, blade, questionable yellow eyewear and tucks them into his storing pouch, sans blade (Not making that mistake again, nope). The pair turns and heads back into the woods, tails held high.

 


 

The creatures den starts off as a small tunnel that allows his tiny, slim form slide right on down it, back scraping loose dirt. Clawed feet reach firm ground as the tunnel opens up in a massive room.

Large enough to fit his beast form three times over, (he learned his lesson after his first growth) the green-eyed boy is rather proud of his den. Days spent digging, dumping, packing dirt laboring away on a nice dry place to sleep at night.

A place to stash the things he’s come across.

All around the den are two-leg items he’s found while wondering the forest, sometimes near the edges of it as well (he’s careful to avoid being seen).

A bright red ball that used to bounce high in the air, but now lays in a flat puddle (He bit too hard into its surface, puncturing it). A colorful small cube that twists and turns (He broke a section of it off one day, the piece laying by the biggers side). A flimsy white item that is round with jagged edges at the top, then tampers down like a stick (It makes for fun patterns in the dirt, he finds). Two soft plush toys, one in the image of a bear, the other a bright blue rabbit. A hard, rectangular shaped thing that’s rather smooth to the touch, opening it up (It’s bigger than his lap!) and you’ll see leaf-thin (And just as fragile) sheets with pictures lining them, front and back. The pictures have creatures similar to himself! …Sorta. They are much, much bigger than him. And rather than being covered in fur, they look scaly, more like a lizard. Some show off them breathing fire, he thought that was really, really cool. He wonders if he can breathe fire (He can’t).

The rest of his hoard has some interesting shaped rocks he’s found here and there, some in strange colors, some more shiny than usual. Lastly, he has- there. A few more blades the boy found near the two-leg settlement.

One is tiny and he has to grab it in a certain way for it to flip outwards. Another is a shiny silver and has absolutely no sharpness to it at all. Is it a blade? Or a shiny stick? Ah, who knows. The third one has a picture of what he recognizes as large dogs. He thinks that one is rather neat.

He places the newest addition to the pile.

[I swear there’s more and more junk in here every time I show up.] White chimes. He’s batting at the large lizard pages with a glint as it crinkles under his paw, making the boy eye him nervously as he pries it away from the feline. He’s too fond of it for it to get damaged, thank you.

Turning back to his pile he dumps the rest of his haul he acquired from today, haphazardly.

Stepping away from his pile, he shifts into his beast form. Long, curly fury bursts out and covers half his body, scales sprout from his hind legs and dot along his tail and back. Furred paws and clawed feet, he stretches out with a sigh.

A massive yawn splits his face and his sharp, jagged teeth reveal themselves. He straightens out and pads over to a nest of ferns, leaves, moss, and various flowers he tore from the ground. He flops onto it heavily and curls into himself. White, finished with looking around, springs onto his massive form and wastes no time in finding the most comfortable spot and position available in his warm fur.

Soon the den is filled with soft, even breathing as both drift off.

 


 

 The long-eared creature wakes alone.

As the feline shows unannounced, he also leaves as such.

He wishes the cat would’ve stayed for longer. It can get awfully lonely, at times.

Leaves crunch under his weight as he shifts in his nest, onto his back and stares at the roof of the den as he lays there.

Emptying his lungs with a heavy exhale he rolls back over and shrinks down. The now-boy hefts himself up and steps out of his nest, ignoring the leaves the cling to his body. He makes his way to the squirrel his friend oh-so generously left him the other day and quickly consumes it.

Burying its remains in the corner he focuses his to the dens entrance.

He passes the black-cladded two-legs obnoxious yellow eye wear, and after a slight hesitation, he scoops it up and continues his path to the dens mouth.

What to do today, he wonders.

Chapter Text

Living in the forest was strange.

Living with cats in the forest was… even stranger.

But that was where the child found themselves among of when its father oh-so cruelly dropped it off and never returned.

When the child gagged at the prospect of eating a freshly killed mouse the cats merely shrugged it off and showed the child what plants to eat. And what not to, unless the child wished to get sick. The child had no reason to believe the cats mean it any harm and do as they say.

They take the child into their settlement and move it in. A place where dozens upon dozens of other cats gather to live together, making life easier for them under a system.

Queens and their kits living cozily and well protected. Younger cats running around playing games as they chase one another. Older cats gossiping and returning back with food to deposit into a growing pile for everyone to share.

Happy, content, organized.

It was so, so strange to be put into their routine. But the child wanted to be helpful! The child wanted to thank them for letting it stay with them! So, the child listened extra, extra hard to their teachings. Learned about plants that could help you if you were ever injured. And, after reluctantly biting into a warm, bleeding freshly killed vole, the child learned to hunt for the rest of the group, as well.

The child’s ability to transform into a beast was something that confused the cats, it was strange to them. They claimed no other two-leg could do what the child did. But it was something to soon get used to after having the child around, they didn’t mind. It was a warmer body to cuddle to at the cold of night.

Soon… this style of life didn’t seem so strange to the child. Eventually the child’s father, the one who put it here, faded to the back of its mind. As did the child’s original language as it used it less and less, with no need.

Soon the child forgot it ever lived anywhere but the leafy woodland.


 


 

Days have come and gone since the boy found a couple of two-legs fighting in his territory and dragged them out.

Laying on a large boulder that hugs the river softly hugging the rock as it leisurely flows downstream, is the boy with green, bright eyes lazily studying the yellow eyewear he “borrowed”.

Something… has been tickling the back of his mind that he recognized that two-leg from somewhere. But that can’t be right. He doesn’t outright show himself to two-legs unless he has to. And if he’s seen the dark two-leg before he would’ve remembered, right? Exactly! So he hasn’t seen him before!

But. But, but, but.

It itches.

Oh he wants to know so badly.

Where…

The eyewear slips from his fingers and smacks him in the face. Causing him to momentarily struggle to not let them fall into the water below. Quickly snatching the band and hoisting them back to himself, he pauses.

Eyes widening the boy shoves them under his nose and inhales deeply.

Of course, if he’s never seen him, then… he must’ve smelled him before. And smell he did.

 The scent was a bit stale now, but he can still make it out. This is the scent of the two-leg that visits the edge of his forest every few days to leave cream and treats! Tail curling behind him in pleasure that he finally solved this riddle, he quickly shoves the eyewear back over his neck and leaps off the boulder, landing on damp grass that tickles his clawed feet.

Speaking of that… he hasn’t paid that area a visit after that fiasco. Now would be a good as a time as ever.

Pausing, he thumbs the eyewear around his neck before taking it off and shoving it into his pouch.

He doesn’t need to choke himself again when he shifts, no thank you.

Taking his beast form he expertly weaves his way around his territory. He jumps over a badger set and takes note of its location for later. Badgers are usually trouble for cats, and he doesn’t want White to run into any. Not that he cannot take care of himself, the boy imagines the feline hotly replying.

Emerald eyes snap back into attention when they notice the beast is getting close to the edge of his territory and the two-leg settlement. He slows his pace to a trot and shift into his smaller form to avoid detection. Ears swiveling for any sign of two-legs nearby.

None usually hang this close, but it never hurts to make sure.

Exiting the forest, he immediately locates the area the two-leg usually visits, a brown thin cat is already hanging around, cleaning itself.

The boy stops with a frown when he notices the scent is very stale. It doesn’t seem like that two-leg made a visit since.

That’s strange… they usually come by every few days…

Was he still injured? Or… no. No, he should be fine. He gotten help, after all. The boy reasons as he swallows down a bit of panic building in his throat.

The scent is a quarter moon old. Fangs gnaw at his lower lip with worry. Slitted eyes dart to the lone cat, still running its tongue in a soothing pattern cleaning her matted fur. Yellow eyes glance up and warily narrow as she notices him making his way towards the brown tabby. She tenses and prepares to dart away making the boy hastily call to the feline.

[Wait! I just… want to ask a question. I promise I’m not here to cause you harm.]

Yellow eyes blink dumbly at him, but she’s not running away so he counts it as a win and continues.

[The two-leg that visits here, have you seen him?] He gets straight to the point.

Getting over her momentary shock at hearing him speak she simply replies with a curt [No.] And whips around into the maze of the two-leg settlement. Kinda rude, but he got his answer.

Tail swishing the boy anxiously picks at his sleeves, sharp nails briefly catching on the material before pulling out. Should he… go into the two-leg settlement and look for that one?

No. No, no no, absolutely not. Green curls go flying as he shakes his head. He can’t leave the forest, that’s such a stupid idea! Besides, what if the dark two-legs comes back while he’s away? Then he’ll miss him! No, no, he’ll stay in here. That two-leg is sure to come back, after all.

Convincing himself with a small nod, he turns on his feet and back into the woodland.

He’ll just have to wait.


 

Waiting sucks.

Oh, waiting is absolutely agonizing, unbearable, and terrible.

Another quarter moon has slowly trekked by, its minutes, hours, days dripping slowly down onto the ground one by one. The boy has never been one to be patient, he’s one for action as soon as a thought crosses his mind. Energy that would let him run for days on end without tiring, letting his fur light with an electric fire, if he so wishes.

Checking the area at the edge of his territory everyday turns into checking twice, then thrice as more pass by. Still no sign. Still no scent.

Groaning in frustration he slams his bowl down hard into the rivers surface, sending waves of water splashing in all directions. Some hits his face and he quickly swipes his arm across his eyes. Green eyes glare down into the rippling water and he wonders just why he even cares that two-leg hasn’t shown himself.

It shouldn’t matter. He only really knows him through getting free food, which he has plenty of! A whole forest full! So what if he doesn’t get fancy cream every now and then. He doesn’t need it.

…But he is the only two-leg that kept coming back even after the other long left the area alone.

……

He did survive, right?

The eyewear lays heavy around his neck, weighing him down.

Green reflective eyes stare back at him as he continues to watch the river flow on by. Sighing, he finally lifts his hand still griping the bowl and carefully balances it, making sure not to spill the water trapped inside.

The bowl was something he discovered a few days ago. Getting inspiration from the bowl that holds the cream he realizes he could store water in this one. That way, he won’t have to walk to the river every time the boy was in need of a drink.

The amount was only enough to satisfy him when in his smaller form, of course, but it’ll get the job done for now.

Furred hands carefully set the bowl of clear liquid on the grass. He shifts his legs out from under him so he can sit down on the rivers edge and dip his legs into the water, softly kicking and splashing.

Reaching to his neck he fumbles with the eyewear, fingers edging along its smooth texture. The previous owner’s scent, now missing.

Sighing he lifts one leg up high and swiftly crashes it down in the water one last time. He stands up, grabs the bowl, and slowly makes his way back to his den, being careful not to spill even a drop.


 

Later that night, the creature finds himself unable to sleep.

Fidgeting and turning in his nest he can’t seem to get comfortable.

The dark two-leg and his absence invades all corners of his mind, swirling in his thoughts into a murky sludge that seeps through every nook and cranny and sits there, festering.

Groaning roughly, he shifts in his nest for at least the dozenth time, leaves crinkling in his movement.

Nighttime lays like a thick blanket over the forest, and he knows over the two-leg settlement as well.

He knows that while the two-legs swarm their settlement in the masses during the daylight, skirting to and fro like ants on a mission, he knows that at night it’s quieter. More subdue. From what he can tell anyway. Straining what little height he has to peak into the towering buildings from the treetops.

So if he should… just slip into the settlement, he could avoid such a massive crowd. He could skirt around and search for the dark two-leg. It can’t be that hard to find him. The boy could ask around for the cats that live in there for any signs of who he is after.

Then it’s only a matter of confirming that yes, this two-leg is still alive and well, and dash back to his forest. Simple, right?

Of course, if he’s just fine that would mean… he just didn’t want to return anymore? A fanged mouth curved downwards. That would mean he scared off the one two-leg that actually visited his forest. After many, many seasons, for as long as the creature can remember, really.

Honestly that’s probably what happened. He scared that two-leg off and now he doesn’t want to return. That’s all. Get over yourself.

Oh, but what if that’s not the reason?

What if he bled out and died after the boy left him by the forest edge? And he hasn’t returned because he’s dead.

A massive paw slams into the dirt floor, and soft snarls echo throughout the den.

His mind just keeps going in circles! He wants answers! Now! His patience has worn thin from waiting!

Clambering to all fours the beast roughly shakes the bits of leaves and moss sticking to his fur. Giving his tail a massive swish, he reverts into his smaller form to crawl out of the dens mouth.

Once outside he takes his beast form once more and races throughout the forest. Leaves rustle softly in the night breeze; bugs sing loudly in the autumn air as the creature zips past on silent paws.

Slowing once he reaches the border, he knows he can’t take his current form in there. So he shrinks down and stands on his two legs. After a moment of hesitation, he drops the fur and scales from his arms and legs, and shrinks his long, rabbit-like ears, closer to his head. Where he knows they’re still green and furry but hidden by his wild, unruly curls you simply wouldn’t be able to find them in that mess.

Like this, he looks more like the two-legs that he can spy in their settlement. Albeit, a bit shorter, but that shouldn’t matter, right? It couldn’t be strange for their young to roam out at night. He should blend right in.

Bracing himself he eyes the settlement. This will be different from just going to the very outskirts and getting a two-legs attention. No, he’s going in deeper and farther away from his home.

The thought scares him a little.

But! He cannot give up now! If he doesn’t get his answers they’ll fester in his mind, rotting!

So, he puffs out his chest and gives the settlement a determined look.

Without giving the woods behind him a backwards glance, the boy takes the first step into the settlement.  

Chapter Text

Big green eyes staring from the shadows. The feeling of being watched from behind, but as you turn nothing is there. You’re all alone but the feeling does not pass.

A figure in the bushes that speedily darts by. The cackling laughter of a child, but it’s twisted and distorted.

Is it a ghost? A phantom? A figment of their imaginations?

Or is there truly something in lurking in the depths of the forest?

For two years the residents that reside in Musutafu have been on edge. And unease seeping into their bodies and lay at the bottom of their stomachs. Paranoia and rumors fly from one mouth to another.

“That place… I heard it’s haunted.”

“I heard giggling when went by! It was super creepy.”

“Are you sure it wasn’t just some lost kid?”

“You don’t understand! Kids don’t sound like that. Like they have static spitting from their voice. Like, like…”

“Like they’re possessed?”

“Right!”

“So it was a ghost?”

Laughter.

“You’re just hearing things, dude!”

“Hey! I’m telling you-“

“Actually… you know…” A hesitant voice interrupts, and the group of third year high schoolers pause and turn, four sets of eyes on the taller boy wearing a comfortable blue hoodie. “I had to go in there a few days ago- you know when it first snowed? Well my brother needed some chunks of wood for a project he’s doing and sent me to fetch some, since my quirk keeps me warm. And I saw, well.”

“Well what?” A girl with interchanging hair inquires, color going from blue to a curious pink.

“I saw paw tracks, except huge, y’know? A tree even had a large gash in it, it seemed pretty fresh too… I didn’t really stick around much longer after I saw that, haha. Bro was rather mad at me for coming back empty handed.”

“It was just a bear then, idiot.” A short boy with yellow hair huffs. “All these ghost stories are bullshit.”

“Bear don’t live here, dumbass!” A snapped reply shoots back, red eyes glaring. “And bears certainly do not sound like that. I’m not making things up and I am certainly not hearing random creepy laughter in my head!”

“Why don’t we just go find out on our own?”

“Huh?” The teenagers look to the last member in their group, a girl with bright yellow eyes that matches her small wings that flutter on her back.

“Listen- it’s probably just some animal with a quirk that made them bigger, y’know? Just some oversized bunny or whatever. It’s not too uncommon.” Teeth flashing, she smiles. “So, let’s find and get rid of it, if it’s making people like Tanaka and Kimura nervous.” She finishes with a smirk, ignoring said boys’ indignant scoffs.

Kimura pouts slightly, “…I don’t think rabbits can make noises like that either, but I’m not against getting rid of whatever it is.”

Punching his shoulder, the pink haired girl, who is now turning a vibrant teal, speaks up. “Well we should be fine with all five of us.” Smiling, she adds, “What’s the worst that could happen?”


Those words flash through Kimura’s head as he watches Tanaka’s spine snap under massive, green paws. A sharp feral smile and natural bright green eyes that sends an icy wave of pure terror vibrating just under his skin.

Its eyes narrow to slits, but the smile doesn’t budge as the creature straightens its body, that’s nearly as long as Tanaka himself, showcasing its wild mane of green curls. A tail swishes behind its body and Kimura realizes it’s scaled, as is the creatures end half. Hind legs that develop into thin scaled claws as they dig into the snow. It had an appearance as if whatever spat it out changed its mind halfway through on just what kind of monster it wanted to unleash horror unto the world.

The now four teenagers stand in frozen terror, before turning tail and fleeing from the scene, a distorted laughter echoing throughout the icy trees, following them.

Tanaka Aito meanwhile, lays unmoving on the ground, flakes of soft snow clinging to his hoodie.



Pap, pap, pap.

Feet slapping down with each step on the hard, flat, rock ground, the boy continues on. Following the path this particular piece of stone stretches out. It’s shaped in an unnatural sort of way that he would never be able to find in the forest, but knows it surrounds and fills the two-leg settlement. Why only here? Why doesn’t stone turn out so flat in the woodlands? It was a reality he never really understood.

Looking around he doesn’t really see much green at all. It makes him feel exposed. The boy’s skin crawls at the unfamiliarity of his surroundings. And, stars above, the smell. There are too many scents. Too many fumes attacking his poor, poor nose.

It’s nothing like the crisp, fresh air with a healthy undertone of soil and foliage. No, this is terrible, disgusting. What are these? Putrid, thick, heavy scents. Rotting, decaying, carrion.

Nose scrunching, green twisted eyes glance at a large container filled to the brim of overflowing, vile, rotting, garbage.

Placing a hand over the lower half of his face he turns away from the awful smell, leaving the grey stone path, and onto a wider black one. This stretch of stone feels a bit… weird? Not as rough? Looking down the boy softly drags his right foots along its surface, testing the new type of rock. It feels a bit bumpy… holes? He tilts his head as he continues to test the stone, compared to his hard, scaled feet that do not even react to stepping on the sharpest of rocks in the forest, his soft “two-leg” feet can feel so much more. Every bit of detail that brushes against the tender flesh.

So when the stone under him starts to tremble softly he pauses and narrows his eyes in confusion. Is it supposed to- suddenly the trembling grows almost aggressive and green eyes snap wide open as he remembers his other senses and hears a fast approaching rumbling and bright, bright lights zooming towards his direction as he quickly leaps backwards, out of the whatever the heck that thing was, way. The thing lets out a long, angry HOOONK, as it swerves side to side before straightening out and continuing down the path.

Heart beating rabbit fast against his chest, the boy tensely stares at the thing as it leaves. Waiting to see if it will turn around to come back for him. Instead it vanished off where he could no longer see it and the boy relaxes slightly, long ears that were straining high as they could reach, now droop down.

Looking down he can see that he must’ve shifted instinctively. He dismisses the shift with a sigh, furless and scaleless once again.

He climbs back onto his feet, having fallen down in his hurry, and glances in the direction where that bright thing vanished off to. After confirming that it really was gone, he dashes across the wide black path and onto another thin, gray one. He noticed that thing never left the black path, so perhaps they have that claimed and gotten angry when he carelessly trespassed upon it.

Scowling, the boy silently scolds himself for not paying attention to his surroundings. How stupid of himself! He’s in unknown territory! He shouldn’t get lost into his own head!

He looks up from his walking and freezes.

To his left, himself is looking back at him. He slowly blinks, and his reflection follows suit.

Grinning, he lifts up his arm and flexes his hand, watching his reflection do the same. Glass, his mind supplies, it’s like that piece of glass I have in my den! Except that was tiny, hardly the size of the palm of his own hand. This was several times bigger than himself!

Looking around he noticed that every two-leg den had glass embedded into its hard exterior. What for? What was the purpose of it? To look at themselves as they pass by?

He pays back attention to the wide stretch of glass in front of him and studies it, his reflection showing off his face scrunching in thought.

Bringing his face up close until his nose was squished on the cool surface, the boy let out a gasp. He could- see into the den! He could make out dark lumps and shapes. Two-leg items he wasn’t sure of their purpose. Squinting he can see that the room has a tunnel that leads off somewhere- another room, perhaps?

He’s trying to shift to get a better look when suddenly there’s shouting coming from behind him. He freezes momentarily, before whipping around and catching sight of an adult two-leg waving his arm as he makes his way towards the snooping boy, still shouting in a loud voice.

He looks angry which means bad news- and this green kid would prefer to stay away from such things. So without even glancing back he shoots off like a rabbit who senses its being hunted by a hungry fox, rapidly slapping his fleshly feet on the hard ground and sharply turns a corner- only to stumble with a strangled cry as his toe smashes and twists awkwardly against the hard stone ground.

Throwing his hands out he manages to catch himself on a hard, metal- tree? Stick? It’s shooting ramrod straight out of the ground and at its top a soft glowing light emits from a round ball. He loses interest in it and looks back down to his throbbing toe, blinking back tears gathering in his eyes.

After making sure that angry two-leg isn’t going to show up, he slides down onto the ground for a better look. His big toe and the side of his foot is sporting some skid marks and bleeding sluggishly. Honestly, it’s nothing bad. But man, oh man did it sting.

“Ow…” He gives a little whine. He doesn’t usually have this problem when he’s using his shifted scale feet. What was it about two-legs that made them so fragile? Their bodies are way too weak for being something so big. Shouldn’t their forms be more durable?

The throbbing soon dulls down, and after a moment of consideration, the boy summons scales to sprout along his feet, and stops them a little above his ankles. His round, soft toes, now sharp, and tough. It should be fine if it’s just my feet, right? He wonders.

He shrugs and decides he doesn’t actually care. What would it matter if they saw his clawed feet anyway?

Tapping his foot on the ground briefly he takes another quick glance around. Without leaves and branches that groans softly in the passing wind, and the animals that chirp and cry into the night, the two-leg settlement feels eerily still.

He flinches when another bright-eyes thing crawls along the black-top stone path, but unlike the previous, this one is slower as it lazily continues on its way, ignoring the boy entirely. If his tail was free, he would’ve twitched it nervously. He needs to hurry and find a guide. This place sets him on edge.

Walking farther along, sense straining to pick up the slightest hint of movement that would either alert him of an approaching two-leg or lead him to a- hopefully- helpful cat that could guide him through the settlement, or even better, a direction of where the two-leg dressed in black could be found.

He stops abruptly when he notices one of those things from earlier, idly standing still on the other side of the black path. The other two that the boy has come across so far were bright eyed and breathed a low rumble. This one however, was dim, silent, and gave no signs of life.

Is it dead? He questions himself. After quickly looking in both directions of the black path and seeing all is clear he slowly approaches the thing, getting a decent look at its appearance.

It’s legs seemed to be wheels? How does it move around like that, properly? The child thinks it has to be awkward.

[“Hello?”] He hesitatingly calls out. He doesn’t receive an answer.

Its body is a dark blue color. And wrapping around the thing looks to be glass, similar to the two-leg dens.

It was never alive then, he realizes. But it moved! How does something not alive move around like that?

He circles around the thing, he can see something inside. Maybe he’ll get answers if he looks closer…?

As soon as his hand touches the cold metal surface however, the thing suddenly roared to life and shrieked violently, breaking the silence. Beeping, shrieking, honking, it went on and on and attacked at the boy’s eardrums as he desperately threw his hands over them to block out the sound.

Yelping he stumbles back and away from that metal demon. [“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to wake you up! I’m sorry, please be quiet!”] The begging seems to do nothing as it continues to screech, however. So he stumbles backwards a bit more, hands still plastered to his ears as he spots a few lights switching on and even some heads poking out of the two-legs dens, looking around the boy spots a narrow pathway in-between two dens and quickly yanks himself towards it.

He can tell it’s much darker in this pathway compared to being out in the open, but the child never had a problem with seeing in the dark. There is more foul smelling garbage littering the floor and he scrunches his nose in distaste. Looking ahead he can see the pathway opens back up and makes his way towards it. The farther from the loud shrieking, the better.

It suddenly cuts off however, and the boy pauses and looks over his shoulder, hands lowing from his head. Other than low grumblings, it is blessedly silent. Did it fall back asleep? He lets out a relieved sigh.

Leaning against one of the large containers holding smelly contents he makes to sit down and let his poor ears recover from the persistent ringing.  Only to shoot back up when his seat yowled in anger.

[“Can’t a cat get any sleep around here? Do you have nothing better to do than cause trouble?”] The feline hissed venom.

It shifted in place, getting comfortable as it stared the boy down as if daring him to try something so foolish again. It’s thin matted fur pricking with annoyance. It had yellow eyes and matching pelt with faded orange strips zigzagging along its body.

[“I’m- sorry.”] He apologizes. [“I didn’t notice you.”]

The cat blinks in a stunned silence. The fur starting to lay flat as if it had forgotten it’s previous annoyance. [“Huh.”] The yellow cat finally responds. [“I’ve never met a human who could talk to me.”] Tilting its head, the feline asks, [“Who are you?”]

[“Uh-“] He fumbles slightly, human? What is that? A two-leg? What a strange word for them. [“I live in the forest.”] Jerking his head in what he hopes is the correct direction of his home. [“I’m trying to find someone- who lives here. Um. But this place is confusing and I’m not, uh, having much luck.”] The boy shifts from one foot to the other. [“Could you help me, please?”]

[“well… since you asked so nicely, I suppose I could help.”] The cat replies slowly. [“Who is it you’re looking for? Another stray cat?”] Yellow eyes watch as the boy shakes his head.

[“No, I’m looking for a two- er, I mean human! He’s really tall and wears all black, and has this white-“]

[“Kid!”] The tabby interrupts, [Kid, do you have any idea how many humans I see in a day? They all look the same to me now, I can’t help you with this.”] He informs him only to quickly add in once he saw the child’s face drop in disappointment, [“But, maybe I can show you around? I know this city like the back of my paw, and unlike you I can avoid us getting into trouble.”]

The boy smiles sheepishly as he remembers setting off that loud shrieking alarm call from earlier. The cat certainly had a point. [“That’d be very helpful, thank you.”]

Taking a step back as the cat hefts itself up on its feet, he notices in place of the long tails cat usually have, this one only has a short stump. He wonders if the cat was born like that or if it had gotten cut off at some point. [“By the way…”] The cat starts and the boy tears his eyes off the stumpy tail and takes in how the cat puffs out its chest. [“You can call me Noodle! My old human gave me that name.”]

Noodle seemed proud of the fact and the boy is reminded that some cats here get taken in as pets to the two-legs. A few of the forest cats themselves used to have such a lifestyle. Where they were warm and comfortable throughout all the seasons, and always had easy food just waiting for them. But they had to stay trapped inside the dens and had little freedom in running around outside. That is what he heard anyway. It sounds like a boring life in his own opinion.

But nonetheless he smiled and nodded down at Noodle, following him as the cat trods out of the narrow pathway.

And right into a couple of two-legs.

He freezes up and the couple pauses in surprise, takes in the child’s appearance, and shoves past walking faster, whispering in low voices.

The boy relaxes minutely and blinks, [“That was… odd.”]

Noodle just gives him a look. [“Kid you look like you sleep in a dumpster all day, and no offense, but you kinda reek.”]

Well now that’s just rude. Even if it is true. Through he’s not sure what a “dumpster” is.

Seeing his questioning look, Noodle replies, [“It’s something the human throw all their trash into. It’s filthy and rank. It’s not all bad though, they throw some food in there sometimes.”]

Noodle faces forward and the boy grimaces behind the cats back. Eating food while surround by that smell did not sound appetizing.

They walked on and on, sticking to the gray pathway mostly and occasionally dipping into an alleyway when spotting other cats. They keep receiving the same answer. No ones seen the two-leg the boy is searching for. There is just too many of them, after all.

The boy drags his feet along dejectedly. It seems this trip was going to be nothing but a huge waste of time. This is turning out so much more difficult than he planned. To make matters worse, he’s not even sure which direction the forest is in anymore. He manages to keep his panic down at that fact since he has Noodle to guide him around. The cat would know its way back. Hopefully.

This place seems way too big he notices. Just how much bigger is it than his forest? He nervously fingers the eyewear that’s loosely hanging around his neck. Maybe if he can get a look from above? He eyes one of the branchless trees, unlike the other one that emitted a soft glowing, this one has several strings of rope sprouting from near the top and attaching to other thin trees. It’s strange but he’s starting to see that’s just the overall feeling in this place.

It is high up though. It should give him a good enough vantage point to at least get a decent idea of this place.

As he walks over to it, Noodles stops and looks back. [“What are you doing?”] He feline questions.

[“I’m going to climb this.”] Came his reply. The cat looked at him as if he were insane but doesn’t question farther, taking this chance to sit and groom themself.

The boy summons green fur sprouting from his hands to his elbows, blunt nails curling and sharpening into fine thick points. His tail swishes behind him, happy to finally be allowed free.

Taking a few steps back in preparation, the boy takes a running leap at the stick tree and digs his claws into the wood. He stays still for a moment, getting a basic feel of this strange thin tree. Usually the trees he climbs are two or three times thicker than he is, but with this one he could almost wrap his arms around its truck and meet his hands.

It’s a bit awkward but, the boy digs in his clawed feet and shoots upwards. It’ll do.

Slamming his hands into the wood, and avoiding the strange rope, the boy finally makes it to the very top. He settles there and looks over the settlement, tail swishing behind him in an effort to keep his balance.

At the sigh before him, the boy groaned. Two-leg dens stretched as far as his eyes could see! He lifts up from his crouched position to stand on the heels of his feet, neck straining. Some of the dens were so tall he couldn’t even see over them, why did they need to be so big?!

Craning his neck around, he can see his forest in the west. He knows how to get back at least. He frowns and lets his eyes take in the settlement, a stone dropping in his stomach. How is he supposed to find a single two-leg in this mess? It’s too much!

Discouraged, he drops back down into a crouch and startles when he hears a gruff shouting directly below his perch.

Looking down he meets the eyes of a pair of two-legs.

The two on the ground wait in silence for several moments, awaiting a response. When none came one called up to the boy. His tone sounded questioning to his ears. Probably wondering why he was several feet in the air like this. Well too bad. He cannot answer them.  

Tearing his eyes away from the pair he decides to ignore them. Favoring to look over the settlement like a cat moping the loss of their prey. Unless those two-leg could suddenly grow claws, he doubted they could climb up to him. He was safer up here.

So color him surprised with he saw movement from the corner of his eye and saw one the two-legs shoot rope from his hands and wrap around one of the perches near where he was sitting.

What the- snapping his eyes downwards he can see the two-leg using his hand rope to slowly climb up to him.

Green eyes looked at the climbing two-leg. Then at the hand rope. Back at the two-leg. Then at the thick strings of black rope connecting this tree to another several yards away. The boy considered his odds, and with one last look at the two-leg he sprung up and dashed along the thick string of rope. He ignored as the two-legs let out strangled cries as he desperately trashed his tail trying to avoid falling onto the hard ground below.

If a forest floor hurts when you fall from a tree, he doesn’t wish to find out just how much a hard stone one would.

He arrives to the other stick tree and quickly climbs down its trunk. Clawed feet slapping the ground he looks over his shoulder and sees the pair running towards him, calling out. And really that’s all the motivation he needs to start booking it as well. He runs in twists and turns, slipping into alleyways and quiet darkness, until he’s sure he is no longer being chased.

As he catches his breath, green eyes squeeze shut as he realizes he left his guide, Noodle behind.

Groaning harshly in the alley, he kicks at some trash littering the ground. The piece soars in the air, hitting the wall and floor with a loud metallic clatter that leaves him wincing.

Ice shoots through his veins as he hears a low-voiced rumble from the other end of the alley. He’s afraid that he didn’t end up losing the pair of two-legs until he catches sight of the figures.

It isn’t the pair.

Three figures approach the small boy, two males and one female. He cannot sense anger or malice on their expressions but that does not stop him from taking an uncertain step back, or from his fur prickling in caution.

Instead their voices are smooth as if trying to coax the boy over, assuring they didn’t mean any harm.

He should really run away.

But curiosity has him standing still with a wary eye. What were they doing? An offer to help maybe?

The female and one of the males hang back, letting the one who has been speaking to the boy since the beginning, compared to other two this two-leg was bulky and huge. He easily towered over his smaller form as he stepped closer, causing him to tense up and taking another step backwards.

The large two-leg must’ve sensed this, because he immediately squatted down and held out his hand placidly, voice still soft.

The two-leg reaches his hand out, palm up. Considering the hand for a moment and a glance back his gentle face, the boy smiles up at him and offers his own hand. Maybe he finally found some nice two-legs in his trip?

But when their hands met the larger one suddenly twists and grabs at his arm, yanking him up in the air as he stands to his full height. The air sudden shifts and the boy is washed away with a wave of malice and cruel laughter.

It was a trick! He lets out a sharp yelp as he’s suddenly shaken, an ugly face in front of his own. Baring his fangs, he snarls, [“Put me down!”] And jabbing his free arm he slashes at the foul trickster.

He’s suddenly on his rear as the large two-leg lets him go with yell, holding his face.

For a few moments the alleyway stays in a tense silence.

Then uncovering his face, the huge two-leg looks down at the boy. Face twisted in a snarl and eyes glittering in anger, he spoke low and dangerous. The two behind him started howling in laughter at their companion’s misfortune but start to advance as well.

And the boy? Well he does not like that one bit. He does not like this situation at all. This whole trip has been nothing but disaster one after the other and he would really like to go home now. This was a foolish, stupid adventure.

He scrambles backwards on all fours, before flipping around and aiming for his freedom at the alley entrance. His shot of freedom is short lived however, when a fourth figure stands in his path, blocking his escape route. He hesitates, and when noticing no other is following the newest guest and barrels straight ahead. He has a higher chance of slipping past a measly one, compared to a group of three after all.

The fourth widens their stance and purple smoke snakes itself out of their body, wide green eyes widen in shock as he skids to a halt and tries to scramble out of the smoke’s reach as it grabs towards him.

One of the other two-legs; the female one, makes a motion for his arms. He swiftly ducks out of the way, noticing the smoke harmlessly drifting off his body. It didn’t do anything? He wondered, and then reprimand himself. Of course not. It’s just smoke. Why was he so afraid of smoke?

There is a slight tingling in the back of his skull as he dodges out the way of arms snatching at him and slips under their legs trying to escape to the other side. He only has to outrun them. Only has to get out of this alley and run like a pack of dogs were at his heels.

But why…

His feet sluggishly hit the ground, growing slower with each step.

Why was it getting so hard to move?

The world spins in his eyes, growing blurry as he slams against a wall. His limbs feel as though they were made of lead. His brain as though it was scrambled and being refilled with cotton. Too much cotton. His eyes felt heavy, everything looking nothing more than colorful, blurry blobs of static. Is he even standing? He doesn’t think so. It feels as if he were swimming upstream in the river.

Everything lurches and big blob is suddenly in front of him. He thinks it’s holding him up, but he cannot be sure. He hardly feels the pain of being slammed against the wall, head hitting harshly against the stone. Adding more cotton to an already overfilled container.

He may not have felt that, but he certainly could feel the hot fire of pain that sliced into the side of his abdomen. The fog in his mind faded slightly as he screamed in pure agony, clawing at the arm holding him up. Every bit of movement caused the blade inside him to twist in deeper, deeper. And he wanted it gone.

So he digs in claws in and puts all his strength into it until he hears the arm snap and the boy is dropped to the ground, sending another wave of pain to his side. A quick hand confirms the blade is it embedded into the flesh and he jerkily yanks it free, hot blood spilling onto the ground under him.

Dragging himself away from the wall and the two-leg still howling in pain over his broken arm, he shakily sets himself onto his feet. His vision still blurry but he can see the four figures of the two-legs standing around. He thinks he hears one say something, but it sounds muffled to his ears.

The three unharmed figures start to advance on him.

To the boys back, lays his escape route. All he needs to do is run. Something he is very good at. He just needs to get home. Go home and never return.

Before he can turn around and start running however, he hears a fifth figure land behind him and his heart stinks low, low, sinking into a pit far underground.

He can’t… he can’t handle another one. Tears form in his eyes as he stands there, frozen and shaking, side throbbing and bleeding.

The final figure is almost directly behind him when he remembers.

Oh he’s such an idiot.

He can’t fight in this form, it is way too weak and fragile. But oh, his other form? Well that’s a whole different story, is it not?

Stopping his shaking, he rapidly calls forward his bestial shift. Growing in size until he is the one towering over their heads, fur curling around his head and neck in a magnificent mane, his hands expanding into large paws with sharp claws gouging themselves into the stone, legs lengthening, bending as scales sprout out, dotting across his hind legs. And a long thick tail that promises broken bones if you should have the misfortune of meeting it.

The beast narrows it’s slitted eyes, bares it’s fangs in a snarl and like any cornered animal, it strikes back.  

Chapter Text

In a forest is a group of cats that live and help one another. They share their food, they heal the sick and injured, they take care of problems that may affect them, such as fox and badger sightings.

But as any large group there are also disagreements. Fights can break out and well, that’s not quite the spirit of their group now is it? They need to work together to survive. Petty squabbles and being at each other’s throats won’t do the trick.

That’s where the Leader comes in.

The leader will resolve and prevent cats from tearing their own fur out. They will listen and decide, and their decision will be followed. Any big news goes straight to them as they figure out how it will best affect the group. Oh, it’s a big job sure.

But she absolutely loves it.

Leader loves being there to help out in any way, offering a paw. She does her best not to turn any cat down, from the youngest kit to the oldest elder, she will find a solution to best fit their needs.

And the others will dip their heads in thanks, ever grateful.

Leaf-bare is when Leader is stretched to the limits, however. Especially this current one.

Prey is scarce. Water is frozen deeply.

And it is so, so cold.

Cats will go out in search of prey, hoping to find something, anything. But more often than not, come back empty pawed.

Moral is low, and cats are tired, starving, dying.

 Leader cannot do much about this, other than to continue searching.

And speaking of searching…

The two-leg child that has been sharing their camp since two green-leaf’s ago, has been missing for a quarter moon.

Leader knows why he is. The others are secretly relieved.

The child has become a great hunter, splendid really!

But the child eats so much, it needs to.

Feeling guilty, the child slipped out of camp one night to where leader is sure, the other side of the forest where its hunting shouldn’t affect her group. Sometimes leaving a few pieces of prey behind in an area they patrol daily, a way to be sure they come across it to take back to camp.

Leader admits it is very helpful.

But she’s the one who let it into the camp those two green-leaf’s ago, which puts the child in her responsibility.

And she’s worried for the child.

 Hence why she is currently making her way to the part of forest where she is sure he is hiding.

Snow crunches under paw as she lifts her nose up to scent the air, keeping her senses open for prey to take back as well.

Leader freezes when the overwhelming stench of blood floods her nose, too much blood and under the smell of it she can detect the child’s scent as well.

For a moment it feels as if her body was plunged into an icy lake, thinking for the briefest of moments that it was her child’s blood the was staining the air.

But the she picked up another two-leg’s scent.

Leader steeled herself and rounded a bush and towards the clearing where the source is coming from.

There, several feet away lays the remains of some foolish two-leg, blood sluggishly dancing around its corpse, bone visible is some areas poking out to meet the cold air nipping at them, some broken and crunched, large teeth markings littering their surface. From her nose Leader can tell it has been dead for a few days before being gorged upon.

Taking her eyes off the corpse she spots the clearing covered in giant paw prints that she is very familiar with by now, leaving no doubt of who was behind this.

She looks up when the sound of shifting snow and dirt catches her attention. She walks towards the bush it originated out of and poked her head inside it.

A large hole greeted her. And inside that hole was the child she had been searching for, messing with what she recognizes as a blue pelt cloth the two-legs wear.

Leader loudly meows to get his attention and green, wide eyes snap up to her. The child lets out a delighted shout and makes quick work of jumping out of the hole.

[“Leader!”] He beams, tail swishing behind him in obvious pleasure.

Despite this being the child’s second leaf-bare with her group, his two-leg form has yet to grow any bigger than when she first offered her paw forward. Still so tiny compared to the grown two-legs she seen walking in their settlement. Just how long does it take for them to grow up? The child’s second, beastal form has no qualms with growing larger by what seems the moon.

Leader’s eyes soften as she purrs in greeting. [“I missed you, my child. Just what have you been up to?”] At this, she flicks her tail at the dead two-leg.

A sheepish smile makes its way onto the child’s face, twisting the fabric in his hands slightly. [“Oh! Well, um.”] The child squeaks, high-pitched [“There were others, other two-legs like me! A few days ago. They were making a lot of noise and shouting around so I thought that they wanted to play?”] Shifting from foot to foot the child continued.

[“So I stalked up to them and started a game of tag!”] He proudly puffs his chest out at this statement, ears twitching upwards.

[“I caught one really quickly! And then the others ran away, so I chased them! They were pretty slow, actually.] He informs with a tilt of his head. [“So I tried going easy on them by going slower too.”]

He pauses at this, and Leader dips her head in a sign to continue as she sits down.

Snow softly crunches under his clawed toes as he drags them in slow circles as he looks down to watch. [“I might’ve gotten carried away, but it was fun! They all went away later, but… when I came back the first two-leg was still here.”] Something flashed on his face for a brief second before passing.

[“I think I broke him.”] He reveals. [“He was broken and I didn’t want to waste food.”]



Papers are scattered across the surface of a wooden table, information and low-quality photos taken by street surveillance cameras of a certain group of people.

Traffickers.

Three days after chasing a villain into the Musutafu forest and encountering the beast that lives there, U.A. was alerted that a second-year support student had gone missing.

The student’s mother calling the school several hours after it had let out, wondering if her child was perhaps still working on a project and forgot to inform her. Receiving a negative that they were in on school grounds she called in to the police with worry.

And so, police and detectives start looking into the matter. Upon they discover through a street camera that the student had been nabbed on his way to school that morning, by what they recognized as some traffickers that keep on slipping from their grasp.

Before this, the group kept a rather low profile in terms of who they kidnapped.

Sticking to the homeless at first, before moving on to neglected children where parents wouldn’t bother to call in their missing status until too late, and adults living on their own in shabby neighborhoods with weak doors and windows.

Suddenly kidnapping a student from one of the most famous hero schools in the world?

It was a huge leap from their usual thing and a very obvious spotlight now resides on their actions.

Several heroes have signed up to look for them and rescue the child and any others that had been kidnapped.

Aizawa Shouta is one of those heroes.

Flipping one of papers over, Shouta examines it.

Shochu Nagaaki stares back at him with sunken eyes. This man is one of what the police believe is the main reason this particular group has been able to effortlessly capture and slip away from scenes.

A gas quirk that once inhaled, messes with a person’s senses. Clouding their minds, limbs becoming heavy and cumbersome, and blurry vision. A very bothersome quirk to defend against.

Shouta has been carrying a small gas mask in case he comes across the man, best to be prepared.

Putting the paper down back on the table to his left, he turns his attention to a rough map that contains sightings and previous kidnapping cases, with Hirota Eiichi’s, the missing support student, circled in bright gold. Previous kidnapping cases circled in green, and any others after Hirota’s circled in red.

Two more had gone missing after Hirota, an adult woman and a middle school boy. Both in possession of a form of shock absorption quirk, most likely the reason they were targeted in the first place. The odds of it being a coincidence are slim.

But why that sort of quirk?

That was the question.

The missing student was easy to guess. Their quirk allowed them to transfigure other materials into something different, including gold. A get rich quick scheme to fund themselves.

Shock absorption was handy if you needed a durable bodies for hard labor.

With most of the cases before the quirks were leaning more on the mutation side, with some random scatterings that don’t seem to collate.

Noises of a pen scritching on paper as Shouta writes down more and more, the paper soon brimming with information.

It seems likely that they were hired long term by another organization in search for these certain quirks, the mutant ones at least. Whether the others a grouped in with them or someone else is still uncertain.

Shouta taps taps taps, the pen tip in thought. Bouncing it onto the table’s surface.

Catching the traffickers would only be the start of it. From there they would have to search and interrogate the members to pry to information from them on where exactly they would have sold off the missing people. And from there another searching game.

Sighing, Shouta leans back in his chair and sets the pen down. He swipes his thumbs over his eyes with a groan.

It has been nearly two weeks since he put himself on this case and it’s been an endless juggle of teaching, research, and patrolling. So busy he was, he sometimes forgot to eat throughout the day. He was almost completely living off of jelly pouches to Hizashi’s disgust.

Not to mention sleep was something that he has been ignoring. Leaving it out on the side of the road as it waits eagerly for him to come back and embrace it with open and grateful arms.  

But sleep will just have to be disappointed. He’s got other things to attend to.

Looking at the clock Shouta notices the time is nearing midnight.

He hefts himself up and shuffles to the coffee machine for one last cup. He swiftly downs it ignoring his burning tongue, gathers his hero gear, and heads out of his apartment room.

The last two kidnappings had been in the southern part of Musutafu, seemingly traveling farther down. So, for the past three days he had been searching along that area thoroughly and taking care of his other hero duties when the time calls.

Another night, another neighborhood to investigate and,

Huh.

His hand pauses on the lobby doorknob. That’ll be near the forest.

Perhaps I’ll stop and retrieve my googles while I’m nearby. He muses.

Opening the building door, and the hero Eraserhead is off.


Feet flying from passing rooftops, Eraserhead observes his surroundings.

A few hours have come and gone, and he has nothing to show for it other than stopping a shifty drug deal.

He lands on a roof and pauses to catch his breath, looking out across the street.

Three people stumble out of a bar giggling to each other as they drunkenly try to call a cab. Slurred words reaching his ears, as he continues to gaze at them through half-lidded eyes.

He looks away and up at the bar they came from and the hero contemplates if he should go inside for a sign or whisper of his targets.

Leaping from the building, he maneuvers himself in the air and lands safely onto the ground. He dusts himself off and saunters to the bar, hands lazily in his pockets.

He is about to open the door when he catches a flash of green in the corner of his eye and snaps his head towards it.

But whatever it was, it had already ducked into an alley and out of sight. Shouta wonders if he should follow and investigate.

At that moment, however, came two people quickly turning the corner. Both were donning a police uniform and seemingly out of breath.

They stopped and paused, gasping for air. One looks up and around and curses. The officer takes a step forward and catches sight of Shouta and waves him over.

Looks like his decision was decided then.

Hand slipping off the door, Shouta strides over to the pair of them as they rush to meet him in the middle.

“Have you-“ One starts, panting. “Have you seen a child run by?”

“It’s dangerous for them to be out so late, but they ran from us when we tried to help.” His partner added in.

Shouta’s lips thinned. Dangerous indeed.

Stepping slightly to the side, Shouta points with his thumb towards the alley. “I saw someone run down there.” He informs them, and then looks back to the pair of them. “I am a hero, allow me to help.”

They seemed relieved a that fact and accepted his offer with gratitude.

Dipping into where he saw the blur disappear into, Shouta sweeps his eyes into the dark. If the child was trying to get away, then they most likely wouldn’t hang around here.

A quick climb up a fire escape and the erasure hero was back to the roofs.

Following along the alley, Shouta keeps a careful eye for any signs of shadowy movement. It soon opens and splits up into two more paths.

A loud metallic crash rings out from the right as Shouta lands on the corner of a building.

Following it towards its source, however, only led him to a knocked over trashcan and a stunned bob-tailed cat that hissed viciously at him before scampering away. Leaving Shouta to stand in the middle of a dirty alley as he fingers his temples.

He turns around continues searching the twisting and turning paths of behind the city without seeing a single hair of a child or well, anyone.

“C’mon kid, where are you? I have other people to look for, you know.” He grumbles under his breath as he comes to yet another dead end.

Shouta considers the possibility of the kid slipping into their house after a night of being chased by law enforcement. With any luck that will hold true and he will have one less potential missing case to deal with as he continues his current mission.

Of course, that won’t stop him from keeping a careful eye out just in case.

Slipping his phone out of his pocket he takes note of the time. Four A.M. is when Shouta will have to head back to his apartment and get ready for the school day. With any luck he’ll be able to squeeze in an hour’s worth of sleep in the teacher’s lodge before homeroom.

But he still has roughly forty-five minutes until then.

It was at that moment a piercing scream rang sharply throughout the night.

Eraserhead wasted no time in jumping into action, straining his legs to race faster as another pained yell makes itself known.

Over there?! Turning hastily on his heel he sprints to his left, the rooftops becoming a blur as his feet flies beyond the concrete.

The shouting and yelling grow in volume as he gets closer, and closer, until finally he skids to a stop and takes in the scene below.

It’s there that he sees a small child. Long rabbit-like ears pressed firmly behind their head as they painfully back away, a tail swishing behind them in distress.

From his angle he can make out the child wearing a hoodie several sizes too big on his small frame, and that they were clutching their side firmly. A sign of injury.

And he can see the cause of what might have happened.

Four adults, although one was still howling off to the side, snarling curses to the child while holding his limp arm.

The other three were slowly stalking up to the little kid who was attempting to escape.

And low and behold from the back of the pack he can make out Shochu, the gas user who has been a key factor in the recent kidnappings.

He’ll be damned if he lets them get away with another one.

Eraserhead jumps from the building and lands directly behind the injured kid, who stiffens immediately, along with the villains.

“Who the hell are you?!” The women of the group snarls.

“Shit- a hero?” Another mumbles. He shares a look with the gas user, who nods slightly.

 Eraserhead reaches into his scarf and slips the gas mask over his lower face as he activates his quirk on Shochu. From the corner of his eye he can catch sight of the kid trembling violently, on the verge of hyperventilating.

“My quirk isn’t working!” Shochu wailed, “That bastard is blocking it!”

“Then charge him!” The villain with the broken arm snarls. Still griping his limp arm, he shoves at the other. “We can’t afford to have a hero on our asses!”

“Get out of here, kid!” Eraserhead demanded, grabbing at his capture weapon. The kid gives no signs that he heard the hero, however. Not moving an inch from where he stands, shaking.

The villains hesitate, but are soon howling battle cries and surging forward, brandishing daggers.

And the kid. Still. Doesn’t. Move.

Shit!

Shouta jerks his arm to his side to grab the kid by the back of his hoodie and to yank him out of the way of danger. His fingers barely touch the fabric however before the kid flinches to action with a small gasp.

And the kid starts to grow.

The transformation takes less than a second before Shouta hears something snap and he is suddenly slammed by a large whipping tail. He is flung across the air and hits a wall with the force of a truck, his shoulder shrieking with absolute agony.  

From his ringing ears he can hear a garbling roar and the terrified screams of the villains. One suddenly cuts short sharply and Shouta forces his eyes open.

It was as if he had suddenly gone back in time. Before him was the monster of the forest he had encountered just two weeks ago.

This time however, it looked every bit of a corner animal.

Crouched low to the ground, as it slowly lowers its forepaw to the ground from where it was stretched out, claws curled. The fur along the beast’s neck bristled to twice its usual size, giving the creature a twisted look with its scaly half. Blood coats and drips from its side, trickling slowly. It’s tail thrashes once more as it whips a snarling face to three of the villains, electric green eyes flaring.

The villains who look very, very pale. Faces painted in pure shock, as the women wails in pitched volume.

“He killed- he killed Gai!” She chokes out.

The creature shifts as it now turns its full attention to the others and as it does, Shouta gets a full view of Gai collapsed onto the cold concrete. Blood gushes thickly out of three long gashes lining along his torso. The brick above him spiderwebbed in his impact.

At the beast’s glare the remaining villains flinch back. Shochu whimpers to himself as he turns on his foot and books it in the opposite direction, seeking escape.

With a crack, the beast leaps after him with outstretched claws. The other two villains scrambling to move out of its path of destruction as it blurs through, paws scarcely touching the ground.

Shochu gives one last look behind him and screams at the sight of what pursues him.

Jaws snap around the gas user and his screams turns into shrieks of pain as he gets jerked from side to side, over and over, its teeth digging, farther, deeper. A horrible squelching filling the alleyway as droplets of blood sprays out and stains the walls, the ground.

Shouta needs to stop this. He needs to stop this creature- no child from killing his leads. A child that was backed into a wall and cornered. A child that was injured.

Supporting himself on the brick wall, Shouta hefts himself upwards. His shoulder protesting. “Kid-“ he starts, but at that moment the child flings Shochu towards him at terrifying speeds, forcing him to push off and away from the wall.

He stumbles to one knee and whips his head back to the rogue child, quirk ready.

Only to find the alley beast-free.

Shouta holds for a few seconds more, but no signs of teeth, claws, or fur reveals itself.

Letting his hold on his quirk drop, Shouta runs for the end of the alley and stops at its entrance, hand gripping the corner of the wall.  

But the child wasn’t on the streets either. If it weren’t for the mix of curious and scared faces glancing in the same direction, necks craning, he would have thought him to disappear entirely.

And if he is not mistaken that direction is…

Turning back into the alleyway, Shouta observes the damage.

The women’s back is pressing against the wall as if hoping to merge into it, gasping sobs wrecking through her body. Unseeing eyes focused on Gai’s unmoving body.

The villain with the injured arm catches sight of Shouta returning and shakily attempts to stand up.

Eraserhead glares at him.

“I’d sit back down if I were you.” He growls. “Unless you want your leg to match that arm of yours.”

The villain flops back onto the ground, defeated.

The hero makes quick work of binding the two with zip ties. Once bound, he digs out his phone and slips the mask off his face. He Sends his coordinates and a request for an ambulance. He then turns his attention to Gai.

He crouches down and puts two fingers to the villain’s neck and purses his lip when no pulse makes itself known.

Standing up, Shouta rummages through his utility belt, pulling out a thick white cloth and bandages as he makes his way to Shochu.

The villain whines and gasps, hands clenching and unclenching, hovering uselessly over his abdomen.

Shouta stoops down and presses the cloth to his wound, blocking the bleeding. He makes quick work of patching him up, the alleyway quiet save for the sniffling of the women and Shochu’s cries.

Soon he can hear sirens growing louder as they arrive towards his location. Three paramedics flood around him, pushing past him as two of them sets up a gurney and hefts Shochu onto it.

Shouta looks away from the remaining paramedic checking over the deceased villain, as something catches his eye.

Padding towards it, he stops. He leans down and gently picks it up to observe.

In his hand laid a yellow item. The strap had been snapped in half, but the item itself was undamaged. If he flipped them around and looked inside, he would see the name of its previous owner. There was no mistaking it, these were his hero goggles.

“Eraserhead!” A familiar voice calls out. Shouta’s dark eyes follow towards the source and finds Naomasa.

The detective jogs up to him, he blinks in shock as the paramedics wheel the two injured villains away.

“Are they…?” He hesitates.

“There was a situation. One is dead, and another critically injured. The other two are relatively fine outside of the male having a what seems to be a broken arm.” Shouta lists off. He slips his goggles into his pocket as he continues. “All four of them are a part of the trafficker group we’ve been tracking down.”

Naomasa nods, looking lost in thought. “Right. We’ll have to bring them in for questions once they’re checked over.”

He then looks back at Shouta. “And what was the ‘situation’?” He asks with a raised eyebrow.

“I’ll have to get back with you on that,” He gruffly replies, “I still have one more thing to take care of, take care of those two for me.”

With that, the erasure hero leaps off, leaving the detective behind exclaiming with confusion.

Before, Shouta couldn’t leave the villains on their own. But now that they are no longer in his hands, he needs to reach out to the child.

The wound on their side wasn’t a pretty sight and a flash of concern races through him.

He runs through the streets, turning when necessary, remembering the direction to which they disappeared.

And really where it was made sense.

When a child was scared and hurt, they would go back to what comforts them, to where they know they would be safe.

Back to their home.

The forest looms overhead and Shouta slows down to a stop.

He sweeps his eyes and quickly spots blood and twigs carelessly crushed.

Following that trial into the forest, he continues onwards. The path was quite clear, having no thought in sneaking or covering their tracks in the hurry, growing more and more sloppy, desperate.

Shouta pulls back the branches of a bush and pauses.

Laying haphazardly onto their side, in a blood of their own blood- lays the child in their beastal form. The sides of their chest rapidly heaving, tail feebly twitching.

As Shouta releases the branches and allows them to snap back into place, an eye snaps open and hazily watches the hero with a lifted head.

Placidly putting up his hand, he tries to reassure the kid with a soft voice.

“I’m not going to hurt you. I only wish to help.”

Clouded eyes study him for a moment longer before slipping closed, head falling back to the earth. And before he can take a step forward, the body shrinks back down to the form of the small child he seen before.

He steps in and applies pressure to their still bleeding wound, and lifts them up into his arms, weighing hardly anything to him.

“Now lets see if we can get you fixed up kiddo.”

Chapter Text

The house has a faint hint of smoke in the air.

It tickles at the toddler’s nose and he sneezes, his little body bouncing with it.

He sniffs and tries to sit up, wiping his nose on the sleeve of his onesie. Craning his neck, he can see papa still asleep on the couch.

He was pretty sure he was on the couch with him. How did he get on the floor? Did he fall?

“Papa!” He calls out.

But his papa continues to slumber on, a new snore producing another wisp of smoke threading to the ceiling.

The toddlers nose curls at the smell of it.

He smooshes one hand against his face and pounds the other against the couch, whining out another, “Papa!”

The snoring stopped.

The mountain on the couch shifted slightly as he peeked down onto the floor.

For some odd reason the man’s features were blurry and hazy, except, of course of his eyes.

His bright red, volcanic eyes look down at his son in question.

“Now, what are you doing down there, little demon?”

“I fell!” The toddler squeaked. He lifts up his arms and does a grabby motion with his hands. “Wanna sleep!”

The eyes crinkled slightly as the man gave a low rumbling laugh, but nonetheless he reaches down with one arm and lifts the child back up on the couch and laid upon his chest.

“There,” he says, “Be sure not to fall off this time, alright?”

Nodding with as much strength his head could carry, the boy settles on his papa. He wraps his arms around him in a hug, eyes closed, and cheek pressed against his papa’s chest as it steadily rises and falls. “I love you, papa.” He whispers sleepily.

Cracking open a single green eye the boy looks up at his papa, “Do you love me?”

There is a hand ruffling his green curls slowly.

“Of course. And I always will, m̶y̸ ḻ̶͆ĭ̴̼͖̏t̶̮͐t̷͙̯͛̾l̴̞̩̆e̶͔͌ █̴̟̰̞̣͕̍̊͝█̷̢̤̅̑̉̽͂̈́͜█̷̝̝̫͑͜█̸̨̟̪͇̥͙̣́̒̐̊̇̓̕͝͝█̴̧̨͔̗̥͓̻̗͒̏̅̆█̵̡̣̋.”

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

.

.

.

.

?

……….?

 

 



 

 

There is a constant beeping to his right.

The unfamiliar sound grates on his ears, on reflex he tries to twitch them, only to find he cannot.

It takes his sleepy mind a minute to realize they must be in his shrunken form. Which is strange for he usually keeps them long.

Actually, now that he thinks about it, doesn’t he usually sleep in his beast form?

It was safer, warmer, and more comfortable to do so.

And yet, right now he feels warm and more comfortable than he ever has. Whatever he is sleeping on is soft.

So, so very soft. He just wants to slip back into unconsciousness again and sleep the day away.

He is once again reminded of the beeping.

Whatever is doing it is being very rude in his opinion. Like the annoying chatter of birds in the morning when he wants to sleep in.

It continues on, and on, the sound starting to catalogue itself in the form of a headache. His wound from last night is a dull pain that slowly starts to chew at him. And he wants nothing more than to block it all out. Block out the noise, the ache, the pain, the-

The pain?

The boy’s eyes snap open and he shoots to sit up, instantly on the defensive. But the bright, bright white everything burns into his sockets and his sudden movement makes his wound scream at him. He quickly squeezes his eyes tightly shut and curls in on himself with a gasping whine.

He tries again, this time slowly peeking his eyes open against the glaring light.

Wherever this was, it was decorated in excessive amounts of unnatural white. It had several platforms with things he has never seen before. Little containers with even smaller things inside of them. A large glass wall on one side of the den, letting in sunlight from outside. And giant boxes that light up in a series of… lines? One of them stands by where he sits, and the source of the beeping, that seemed to have picked up in speed.

It was strange. It was foreign. And after last night he would very much rather not be here. He doesn’t like this. Not at all.

He reaches to some sort of familiarity, his beast form always makes him feel safer, to feel the comforting weight of the fur, the knowledge that his hard scales will protect him. His ears for sensing danger, his claws to fight off enemies. He reaches and reaches to bring forth any one of these.

 He reaches and reaches and every time he comes back empty handed. He reaches farther, and farther until he realizes he can’t feel it at all.

It’s gone.

Dread claws down his throat, his chest, until his very veins is filled with its icy grip. It’s grip tightens around his throat as he struggles to breathe. The beeping to his side picks up in speed rapidly, but it escapes his notice.

He tries and tries again to grab at his other form, but no matter what he does, it’s just. Not. There!

Suddenly there is a two-leg dressed in white, entering the little room.

The two-leg looks at him and raises his hands and speaks in a reassuring manner.

The same way that bad two-leg did. Right before he got stabbed.

A snarl escapes his lips as he glared at the white two-leg. Does he think he’s an idiot? That he’ll fall for the same dirty tricks?

But no matter how he bares his teeth, the boy simply doesn’t look intimidating. Not without his claws. Compared to the bigger two-leg, he is too tiny to strike fear. He knows this. So when the two-leg continues to walk towards him after a brief hesitation and a small smile, he shrinks back.

No no no no nononono, please stop! He doesn’t. Please just go away!

He scrambles backwards and yelps when his hand hits air and sends him falling onto the floor.

He can hear the two-leg saying something. He can see his feet rounding the soft flat nest he was on. He really, really wishes he wouldn’t.

Trying to crawl away on his hands and knees lead to nowhere as he feels a sharp tug on his arm. Looking down he can see thick tubes attached, leading them under his skin.

The sight of it sends a shiver of goosebumps down his spine. What were they doing to him?

He doesn’t like this. He doesn’t like this he doesn’t like this he doesn’t like this he doesn’t like this!

A hand is in his vision and he doesn’t think. He darts his body forward and snaps his teeth down on the hand, hot blood flowing into his mouth as he sinks into it.

The two-leg gives a shout and the boy flings himself away from them. The tubes give his arm another sharp tug and without hesitation the boy grabs at them and yanks.

And it hurts. It hurts so much, and he can feel tears springing into his eyes as he drops the needle-tubes to the floor.

if he can just get to the glass on the den wall, he could break it. Break it and be free back outside. Where he can go back home and curl in his own den and never, ever leave.

Behind him he can hear voices of more two-legs entering, and he throws himself at the glass. His fists banging on its surface with all his might. He can hear the voices getting closer through the buzzing static in his ears as he slams and slams on the glass.

But it refuses to budge, no matter how desperate he is. The tears in his eyes fall down his cheeks in frustration and losing hope. The dread from before wrapping tighter and tighter around his neck, making his breaths come out in strangled gasps that only grows faster, and faster.

He can feel a presence behind him as he gives one last pounding slam in his mounting frustration and swipes his arms back, fingers curled as he rounds himself to face them with a snarl.

[“Stay back!”] He screeches at them; through his blurry tear-filled eyes he can see there’s now three. Three two-legs wearing white, and he thinks he is starting to hate that color. [“Get away from me!”]

He backs up along the wall, following it, putting as much distance between him and the intruders.

They do not move from where they stand. Through his blurry eyes he can’t see what kind of expressions they hold, but that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they leave him alone, that they go away.

His back hits a corner and he presses into it, still glaring and heaving.

The figures finally back off and out of his sight, leaving the boy to himself.

And he stands there for a few minutes more, trembling and straining his small ears for any sign of their return.

When they don’t, he slides along the wall and collapses onto the floor with a wheezing sob.

Why is this happening to him? His other form never rejected him before. Is it punishment for leaving the forest? He got too curious, too greedy and now he’s trapped in a strange place, surround by strangers, injured and his power gone.

He coughs, his lungs still screaming for air. He clutches his chest and wills himself to calm down but it’s no use. His panic only climbs higher, further out of his reach. His ears ring and black spots creep up in his vision, tunneling it. He curls into himself and yanks at his tangled hair.

Why why why why did he leave? Was he so desperate for attention he would chase a stranger in a world he didn’t know? Was it worth it? To get yelled at, chased, and hurt? To be trapped? To lose half of himself? He’s made a terrible mistake and he just. Wants to go home. Why won’t they let him go home?

A sudden weight lands on the boy’s head and his hand grabs at it in a crushing grip, digging his nails in.

Whatever it is, simply allows it and-

Strokes his hair?

His eyes snap open, (wait when did he close them? Why wasn’t he watching for them to return!?) but through his hazy tunnel vision whoever was in front of him looked like a black blur. Seeing them made him realize the thing in his hair was a hand as it continued to ruffle his hair, it was gentle and honestly… felt nice.

He loosened his grip on their wrist and hesitated, unsure what to do.

The hand rhythmically stroked the top of his hair, it was calming and relaxing. And as his eyes slipped closed and leaned into the touch, he found out that it was also warm.

They both stayed like that for a few minutes.

The contact grounds him and slowly the roaring in his ears simmers to a halt as his breathing evens out.

And still, he sits there. Perfectly content of this latest development.

Up until he heard a voice and startled.

He warily lifted up his head, looked up and saw-

As soon as he was a decent distance into his forest, he collapsed heavily onto the ground, unable to take another step. He wheezes, his lungs on fire with every strain it takes. His side is a constant throb that made him tremble. Whatever effects his vision was under during that fight had wavered and shifted, throwing the world into an assortment of different colors. If it wasn’t for his nose telling him this was his forest, he would question is he was even in the right place.

His eyelids feel heavy as they slowly drift shut. He wonders if it was the smoke from before that made him feel weird. It happened after that two-leg shot it off, after all. He wonders if his sight is going to be weird forever, or if it’ll go away.

He wonders if White will be one of the cats who’ll find him tomorrow.

……..

…………

Something snaps behind him, struggling to open his heavy eyelids he groggily lifts his head into the direction.

His vision must still be playing tricks on him, because stepping out from behind a large bush is the two-leg he’s been searching for.

He steps forward, speaking in a reassuring voice and the creature knows he should run.

But he is… so tired.

If this is the same two-leg then, well, the boy helped him before, didn’t he?

As he drops his head back onto the ground and finally releases his hold on his consciousness, he can only hope he’ll return the favor.

-In front of him sat the two-leg in black.

 


 

Shouta isn’t really sure what to do.

He arrived back to the hospital where he dropped off the kid from last night.

In fact, he’s sitting right in front of him. Patting his head as the child looks up at him, eyes sparkling in wonder.

When he let his transformation slip last night, the kid still had some features of his quirk present. Such as his long ears and tail remaining, and his arms and legs keeping its fur and scales. He thought perhaps it was simply a mutation base, and it was simply something that couldn’t be removed.

But that obviously isn’t the case as he sits here, quirk suppressed. With those features gone, he looks all the scrawnier. With thin limbs and his hospital gown swallowing him, under that knows every one of the kid’s ribs are visible as a sign of malnourishment.

While he was at school during the day he went through scenarios where the kid might have come from with a poor or abusive home, going into the forest to play and causing rumors to spread without being aware.

But after his outburst at the hospital staff combined with his actions last night, that possibly is looking a little thin. An obvious answer is forming in his mind and he doesn’t like it.

“Kid, where the hell did you even come from.” He sighs tiredly.

The kid in question merely tilts his head at Shouta’s question as he continued to look up at him.

Shouta eyes the injury on the boy’s arm, giving him one last pat on his head before retrieving his hand to dig out some bandages in his belt.

The boy made a sound of complaint as he snatched at Shouta’s hand, grabbing it with tiny hands. He continued to mutter in a series of noises that has Shouta raising an eyebrow at.

“I need that back, you know.” He tells him. But nonetheless, he simply searches for the bandages with his other hand.

Taking them out, he gently holds the boy’s arm still and cleans up the blood. Other than a small pained gasp, he made no attempt to stop Shouta, preferring to watch with rapt attention. Shouta finishes up by bandaging his forearm. The kid takes his arm back and stares at it, twisting and turning it. He stops, looks up at Shouta with a pout, and then takes his hand once again. Examining it and comparing it’s size to his own.

A chuckle comes from the room’s entrance. “Looks like you two became fast friends.” Detective Tsukauchi states as he steps closer into view.

The boy startles and whips around to glare at the detective, softly growing at him when the man gets too close.

Tsukauchi stops, takes a step back and gives the boy a soft smile. This doesn’t seem to really reassure him though, as he continued bristle and bare his fangs at him.

So Shouta took back his hand once again, and placed lightly over the boy’s entire face, cutting off his growling with a, “Rrumpf!”

“Calm down, problem child. He’s not going to hurt you.” Shouta informs him.

Said child grabbed at the hand obstructing his view and removed it, throwing another wary glare at the detective before focusing back on Shouta, now interested in his capture weapon.

“I was hoping to get a statement from him, about last night and find out about his parents. But,” Tsukauchi pauses as he sits down on the hospital bed, watching the boy mutter low noises as if talking to himself as he played and tugged at Shouta’s scarf. “I think that might not be possible.”

Scratching the back of his neck, Tsukauchi sighs. “It’s weird. He’s not speaking in any languages that should be human, but my quirk still picks up on it.”

The boy managed to grab enough of Shouta’s capture weapon to loosely loop around his own neck twice. He lets out a sudden gasp as he looks down, seemingly just noticing the hospital gown he’s been outfitted with and starts examining it.

“If he can’t speak Japanese, then it’s going to be hard to find out just where he came from, if he even remembers. I’ll have to dig out nearly every missing child report we have… and that’s only if he’s a runaway…” Tsukauchi trails off and Shouta looks at him.

“Do you recall any rumors surrounding the Musutafu City Forest?” Shouta asks.

The detective’s eyebrows scrunch in thought. “The forest…? Where you found him?” Shouta nods and Tsukauchi hums. “Well… if I remember correctly, I believe a teenager actually went missing and never returned. That was roughly five or six years ago, however.”

Shouta already knew this after a quick bit of research this morning in the teacher’s lounge.

“From what I’ve found, there has been rumors floating around of a creature living there. They date back all the way to nearly seven years.”

Tsukauchi blinks in shock, his eyes dart to the green haired boy as his lips thin. And Shouta understands. Looking at the boy he doesn’t appear to be much older than the rumors themselves. If he was the cause of them then… just how long has he been on his own?

The door opens, interrupting his thoughts. He turns to look, aware of the kid stiffening beside him.

A doctor with short blond hair steps in and catches sight of the three. “Oh good!” He exclaims. “I’m glad to see you’ve calm down. I imagined it must’ve been scary to wake up here, hm?” The doctor smiles at the boy as the door shuts behind him.

The boy in question gives the doctor no answer, of course. After glancing back at Shouta he seems to disregard him and lifts up his gown to examines his bandages once again, deciding they were more important.

The doctor chuckles. “Not very talkative, eh?”

“We suspect he might not speak Japanese.” Shouta informs him.

“Is that so…” He frowns before turning his attention to Shouta. “Well, in any case. I heard you were the one who got him to settle down, I’d like to thank you for that.” He bows his head slightly.

“Doctor Ishii, his previous doctor, isn’t too keen to check up on him right now, after getting his hand, erm. After his hand was injured.” He fumbles. “But he understands the poor kid was just freaked out. So I was switched over to him, instead.”

He smiles at them. “My name is Doctor Yasushi.” He introduces. “My quirk allows me to secrete calming pheromones in a small area. Perfect for nervous and anxious patients!”

Yasushi crouches down and gives a smile to the green haired boy. “We still need to run some tests, and we need to keep him on the suppressants for now. A small dose of my quirk should help him stay calm while we work on him.”

With how the kid was now glaring at Yasushi, that might be for the best. The problem child probably wouldn’t take lightly with people poking around him.

Shouta shrugged and made to stand up. This action immediately snaps to the boy’s attention as he grabs at Shouta’s sleeve with a whine of complaint.

He was trying to untangle his capture weapon that was wrapped around the kid’s shoulders and arms as Yasushi started letting off a small stream of his quirk. A thin smokey mist of green spreads around the room.

The boy notices it and. Shouta can sense the oncoming danger a split second before it happens. The feeling reverberates throughout his body, causing him to tighten his hold on his capture weapon. And sure enough, with a snarl at the doctor the child throws himself at the man. His form shifting larger in a blink of an eye midleap, the capture weapon snaps straight and yanks Shouta along with him.

Acting fast, Shouta swiftly erases his quirk and sends out more of his capture weapon to wrap thoroughly around the snarling child as he stumbled with the unexpected change, mere feet from Yasushi.

He soon recovers however, as he strains against his bonds spitting and yowling at the poor man who had scrambled backwards and away.

The doctor’s quirk soon takes its hold. The scarf loosening in Shout’s grip as the child stops struggling against it. His face smooths over from rage to blankly docile, blinking slowly.

Tsukauchi was up on his feet looking startled. “Are you alright, Doctor Yasushi?”

“I’m fine! I’m fine, everything’s fine.” The doctor says in a rush waving him off, looking everything but. He looked pale and as though he had suffered three heart attacks in the span of a very few short seconds. His voice trembled slightly as he continued on. “I guess- I guess he wasn’t fond of that. My quirk.” He swallowed. “We can at least get him on- on sedatives, for now yes. Th-thank you for your help, Mr. Hero.”

“Right!” Yasushi claps his hands. “Well, young man, let’s, let’s get you back onto the bed, alright? This’ll be done in a jiffy. You two will have to wait outside of the room for now.” The doctor gestures to the pair, as he leads the boy onto the hospital bed. The boy follows his movements and catches Shouta’s eye, sounding off a small chirp in his direction.

Tsukauchi nods and exits the room, Shouta following.

As the door closes behind them, Tsukauchi turns to him looking troubled.

“This is bad, Aizawa. If having a dangerous, uncontrollable quirk was his only problem then that could have been solve by putting him in a home that specializes with dealing in that sort of thing.” Tsukauchi shakes his head. “But when he doesn’t know how to act around people? When he can’t understand what people are saying to him and attacks in a drop of a hat? Foster parents who take in children with dangerous quirks are constantly filled up, and even with a spot open no one would want to take in someone that unpredictable and start from scratch with him.”

A funny feeling develops in Shouta’s chest. “What is going to happen to him then?”

Tsukauchi looks uncomfortable. “Well... he’ll probably have to be locked away until he is no longer a threat. Until he can be taught how to live with other humans.” The detective looks up at him with dark eyes. “With Shochu dying before he reached the hospital, he’s already the cause of two people’s deaths. Not to mention the possibility of him being behind a missing teenager five years ago.”

“We managed to find Hirota and a few of the other people the traffickers kidnapped, because of him. But things aren’t leaning towards his favor, even if it was in self-defense.” The detective finishes off with a sigh and looks through the window into the room.

The boy was trying to get his hands on Yasushi’s stethoscope, seemingly chattering away as the blond doctor tries to get him to hold still to take his blood pressure. He looks around the room, sees the window and beams at Shouta.

He buries his small smile in his scarf at the sight.

“He seems to like you.” Tsukauchi laughs.

Then pauses.

And looks at Shouta.

“You know, you have a very useful quirk.” He states slowly.

Shouta smells trouble. “No.”

“And you’re a teacher…”

“No.”

“Oh, come on Aizawa! You would be perfect to watch over him! He already seems fond of you, and you could use that to get him to used to other people! To get him to trust them!”

“I have a job; I don’t have the time to babysit a kid.” Does Tsukauchi not realize that?

“Aizawa you work at one of the top schools in the world that houses several gyms and cities on it’s grounds. The school is filled with other pro heroes who are also teachers. Are you saying there really isn’t a place for him to run around for a few hours, away from other students?” The man sounds exasperated, as if Shouta was the one who wasn’t making sense here.

Seeing that the man doesn’t look convinced Tsukauchi adds in, “It’ll only be until he’s no longer a threat. If he’s around someone he would actually be willing to learn from the start his progress could go a lot faster.” He spreads out his hands. “And then we can get him into a home.”

Shouta looks back through the window. The kid was now watching one of the monitors as flashed on screen. His cat-like eyes darting around in fascination.

Looking away, Shouta pinches the bridge of his nose. “Fine.” He sighs.

“I’ll take him in.”

Chapter Text

He was being avoided.

She understood why, of course. And it was not like she could blame them for doing so.

Still it broke her heart to watch him try to join in the company of the other cats, only for them to turn away with poor excuses- his ears drooping sadly at their departure.

It was an accident. She and the others know this.

He had killed two of their group.

They were playing together, and the child had gotten too rough in his bigger form, snapping their necks with a misplaced swing of his tail. Throwing the two harshly against the trees before falling limp in a crumpled heap.

The others were instantly on their guards as they leaped in to check on them, a few distracting the boy with a sudden task.

The two limp cats were soon confirmed to be dead after the boy was sent off for hunting. Cats quickly dragged their bodies away for a quick burial.

It was a wakeup call to this small group of forest cats. What they had taken on is dangerous.

But oh, they raised the child for many seasons at this point and they were still fond of him.

But the fondness was overtaken by fear. They love him, yes. But what if this happens again? To them? To their kin?

What happens if it no longer becomes an accident?

They were afraid.

Even so, when the boy came back with his catch, asking where his two friends were at, they didn’t have the heart to tell the truth. They told him the two went off somewhere and would not be back for a while.

He was saddened by not being able to tell them farewell, but soon cheered up at the thought of seeing them later.

He bounced across the camp and settled for some rest, looking like a mossy hill as he curled up.

There was a clear circle around him as the others stepped away- keeping their distance.

From there it was only a matter of time that he noticed everyone’s avoidance.

He tried to ask why they were doing so, only for one to panic and say his scent had become strange and put everyone on edge.

The child accepted that as an answer, but it only saddened him farther.

He was being shunned from those who raised him.

Everyone was on constant edge with him around the camp nowadays, and he was growing depressed as the days went on.

Leader wasn’t sure how to fix this.

Until one day, she did.

[“Little one.”] She whispered to him one night. [“Would you follow me?”]

 

 

She’ll just have to get him a new home, she decided.

 



 

 

The hospital informs Shouta that it would be for the best if the kid stays with them for another two days, so they can get him sorted out.

With no shots or vaccinations of any kind, they were surprised to see he managed to go so long without catching some disease.

Tsukauchi also requested them to see if they could find out what age he might be after realizing the hospital has someone on staff with such abilities.

“It’ll help narrow down the missing case files if I can get an age to work with.” He informs before taking his leave, getting called away on another matter.

The doctor who the kid almost mauled an hour before, clears his throat and Shouta focuses his attention on the man.

“If you are going to take care of him when he’s discharged then let me inform you that this boy will need to be put on a certain diet.” The blond doctor starts off and at Shouta’s nod, he continues.

“He shows signs of malnutrition and neglect. He hasn’t been getting enough to eat for what looks like years.” Yasushi glances at his clipboard and then back to Shouta. “It’s possible he eats more than on average if his quirk allows him to grow that much with his- other form.” His fingers give off a little tic, nails tapping on his clipboard.

“I’ll make sure to get you a proper meal plan before you leave, but I want you to be prepared if he might require more than what it’ll say. There might be some issues at first, however.” He pauses, moving to the side to let people behind him pass through, before looking back to Shouta. “If he really did grow up on nothing but whatever he found in a forest for years then, he may not be a big fan of most of the foods on the plan. I suggest try starting with low seasoned meats, fruits, and vegetables at first and see where he stands with them. Work your way up with trying new things, and nothing that is too strong in flavor.” The doctor’s pen is flying across the clipboard, scritching it’s surface and picking up speed as the doctor continued on.

“If there’s anything you feel like needs to be added to his diet due to his quirk, just let me know and I’ll come up with an updated one for you. By the time he gets released from our grounds, I am going to send the two of you home with a few vials mixed with my quirk. In case you need to quickly calm him.”

Yasushi stops, pockets his pen as he rips off the page he had been writing on to hand to Shouta, who takes it.

Yasushi smiles at him.

“In the meantime, I’d suggest you child proof your house, Mr. Hero.”

Shouta thinks back to his messy apartment.

Shit.

He still needs to tell Nezu about bringing a feral child onto school grounds.

Double shit.

 


 

One shopping trip later and Shouta’s ice box is filled with meats, fruits, vegetables, and an assortment of other foods to test out.

Shouta is pretty sure this is the first time it’s ever been this full.

Actually, he might have gotten too much. What’s going to happen if the kid doesn’t even like half of this stuff? He would have to throw it out and call it a waste.

Oh wait, He remembers, I need to eat food too.

He shuts the ice box. Bastard is fully revealed as the door shuts, his bastardly smug expression clear as ever.

Mrrrow.” The bastard drawls, as if the feline was able to read his thoughts and Shouta is pretty sure he just got made fun of by a cat. He scowls down at the black menace and turns away.

Now Shouta’s apartment isn’t that messy, no. But there is stuff he doesn’t want a child who doesn’t know any better get into. His hero supplies being some of those things. If the kid transforms in his apartment, then he’ll also need to move things around, so he can have enough space.

So, the first thing Shouta does is move his couches and television stand to be boxed in close to a corner. To avoid a future disaster, he makes a note that he should bolt the tv into the wall.

Stepping away, the living room already looks twice as spacious as it did before. He gathers his hero gear, and carefully organizes them into the living room closet.

Next, he focuses on his bedroom.

He figures he can spend his nights in his sleeping bag- it hasn’t failed him yet- or just take the couch until his home is his own again. For now, he’ll let the kid have his bedroom, giving him a proper bed and privacy.

Juice Box is sleeping on one of his shirts and gives the dirtiest of looks at Shouta as he moves him aside to pick it up. The orange furball gets up and lays upon yet another article of his clothing.

Shouta almost felt bad as his wide green eyes looked at him in indignation and stomped out of his room when he moved him yet again.

His clothes retrieved, hero related documents safely stacked into a box and packed into the closet, his other various personal belongings that took up residence on his dresser top stashed away, and his room is looking tidy and barren.

As he unpacks his clothes from his dresser to be placed somewhere else until he can get a second one for himself Shouta realizes something.

The kid is going to need clothes for himself.

What do kids like to wear?

He makes yet another note to himself to go clothes shopping after work tomorrow and tosses the shirt he was holding into the cardboard box with the others.

Green eyes glare at him as it lands on Juice Box. The cat had slipped back into the bedroom and taking refuge on his clothing once more without his knowing.

“Sorry.” He apologized, giving the orange cat a few strokes. Juice Box leans into his hand and purrs.

 


 

The next morning has Shouta knocking on Nezu’s tall office door, not really looking forward to persuading his boss into letting him bring in a feral child that turns into a giant rabbit monster of some sort. A dangerous one to boot.

But to his surprise however, the principle’s small beady black eyes lit up in excitement nearly right away when he mentioned his little problem.

“I think we can let him stay in gym Beta, for now. It’s the school’s smallest gym, we can set it up in a way to entertain him while you work here, Aizawa-san.” He beams up at Shouta, clasping his furry paws tightly.

Shouta looks at the rodent skeptically. “…Why are you agreeing to this so easily? In self-defense or not, this kid has ended up killing at least two people. He’s dangerous. Shouldn’t you have at least hesitated in accepting him on the school grounds?”

“The gymnasiums are near impossible to leave if locked up correctly.” Nezu informs him, keeping his beady eyes locked with Shouta’s. “Even so, we can keep a teacher on site to observe and prevent him from getting into too much mischief. Not to mention the dozens of cameras that link straight to my own computer, no, no.” He waves a white paw dismissively. “Concern with him coming in contact with the other students is low with preparations.”

Shouta waits, standing in front of the principles desk as streams of sunlight beamed out from the large windowed wall behind it. The light reflecting on Nezu’s white fur, making it seemingly brighter than before as the black haired man squinted at the animal.

“I am curious,” He unclasped his paws and set them flat upon the desk. “About a human not raised by other humans. I would like to study how that effected his upbringings, and how well he adapts to being thrusted into society.”

He gives Shouta a smile, white teeth flashing in his direction and the man knows there is more behind his reasoning.

“Oh! And on that note, I suggest taking Monday off! Let the boy get accustomed before bringing him to another new place so soon. We do not want him to get overwhelmed, after all! A substitute will be assigned in your stead.”

“…Very well.” Shouta agrees. It was, after all, a logical viewpoint to the kid’s needs.

When Shouta leaves UA’s grounds with the granted permission he needed, and a key card to gym Beta weighing in his left pocket, he can’t help but briefly wonder if the kid would have been better off never leaving the forest.

 


 

With an extra set of clothes, Shouta walks through the pristine halls of the hospital.

Passing door after door he keeps his gaze on the numbers slowly ticking upwards.

405…

406…

407…

408…

409…

Until finally, he reaches room number 410.

Opening the door, he steps inside.

A woman with lavender hair glances at Shouta from over her shoulder, a brief surprise flashing in her eyes before turning to greet him. “Oh! Hello! You must be this boy’s guardian?” Eyes flicker to the side, checking over a slip of paper that lies on a small table and then back in his direction. “Aizawa-san, correct?”

“Yes.” He gruffly confirms. Glancing at the kid, Shouta can see he is thoroughly asleep. Curled up on his side, quirk still missing, his little chest steadily rises and falls. Shouta suspects he must still be under the doctor’s quirk.

“He’s an adorable kid, a real sweetheart.” The lady comments as Shouta lightly drops the set of clothes at the foot of the hospital bed. “Doctor Yasushi thought it might be best if he was asleep for the trip back home, he gets rather excitable at times- cooped up in this small room.”

“Oh, Aizawa-san!” A voice interrupts from behind.

The blond head of Doctor Yasushi pushes the cracked door open farther and takes a step inside the small room. “You’re here! Good.”

His startling blue eyes scans and shuffles some of the papers he’s holding, searching for the correct slip.

“You already know about the boy’s malnutrition and a diet plan has been given out to you.” Yasushi starts off. From the corner of Shouta’s eye he can see the lady from before picking up the set of clothes he placed down. “We’ve given him vaccination shots, and he’ll need to return in four weeks’ time for his next set.” Yasushi jerks his pen up and taps it at the corner of his mouth. “As you’ve seen, he has two thin scars on his mouth- as if being clawed by an animal. While they are rather small, is seems inside his mouth is what took most of the damage. His tongue is split and poorly healed as a result. There shouldn’t be too much of a difference with his speech, but some sounds may be hard for him and slightly distorted.”

Shouta raises an eyebrow. “Can that be fixed?”

“Sadly, no. From the looks of it, this was a few years ago. The wound has closed up long since. But as I said, it shouldn’t affect him too much.” Yasushi answers him, waving his pen in small circles. “He has other, smaller scars here and there dotting his body, but nothing major- oh.” His pen stops circling in his fingers and Yasushi looks up at him.

“He has a slightly different blood temperature than normal.” He states. “Almost cold blooded, but not quite. Just enough for the cold to be more pronounced to him than us, I believe.”

Shouta’s mind flashes to the scaly back end of the kid’s other form. Part reptilian then?

“Right, other than that- I do think he’s all ready to go home.” Yasushi announces as he lowers his pack of papers to his side. “Before you leave, there is a small package at the reception desk for you to pick up. Inside is five vials of my quirk’s calming pheromones- for use in case he gets hard to handle. A single dose should be enough to keep him calm for an entire day- oh right.” He pauses, digs through his pile of papers again, and hands one off to Shouta.

“I’ve already informed the detective about it at his request, but here are the results of finding out the boy’s age.”

And with that, the blond doctor then gives a small bow, wishes Shouta a good day, and leaves the room.

Shouta watches him go before turning his attention to the slip of paper, the handwriting was neat and small.

 

 

Name: [Unknown]

Blood Type:  O

Height: 106cm

Age: 10 yrs

Note: My quirk isn’t able to pinpoint exact birth dates, but the patients should be either; late June, July, or early August.

 

 

 Shouta’s eyebrows climbed high as he read the boy’s age again. He quickly looks back to the bed.

The kid was still asleep, his tiny chest steady rising and falling as he slumbers. He was wearing the set of clothes Shouta had brought- a light green shirt and black pants, but they were a size or so too big on him. Making him seem even smaller as he swims in the fabric.

Shouta was already in disbelief that he could’ve been seven years- when the rumors first started, but ten? That… couldn’t be right.

Lips thinning, he pockets the slip of paper and steps to the side of the bed. He thanks the nurse, scoops up the kid- too light- and leaves.

 


 

Exiting the hospital doors, Shouta steps on into the streets of Musutafu. Morning streams of light mixing with the autumn air as holds the kid with one arm, and a plastic bag containing the box of calming vials.

Awkwardly digging in his pocket with the hand carrying the bag, Shouta brings out his phone and calls for a taxi.

It takes a few minutes for it to arrive, with him standing there with the kid’s head on his shoulder- his green wild hair tickling his nose with each breath.

The taxi soon arrives, stopping to a halt to the side of the road next to the duo.

Shouta opens the backseat and readjusts his hold on the bag so he can support the kids back as he ducks down inside the vehicle.

He scoots farther along the backseats, carefully laying the kid down beside himself once situated, and gives the driver the address where to drop them off.

The car pulls away from the tall hospital walls, and onto the busy city streets.

Shouta leans his head back, closing his eyes as he takes a deep breath. There’s no going back from this now. He opens his eyes and looks out the window to his right, watching cars and buildings speed out of sight.

Movement to his left has him looking down.

The kid shifts himself, stirring. He digs his head into Shouta’s black shirt, clutching it with his tiny fists as he does so- before falling limp once again with a sigh. Quiet snores filling the silence of the rumbling car.

Shouta places a hand on the kid’s shoulder and resumes looking out the window.

 

The trip only lasts ten minutes before Shouta is finding himself scooping the child back into his arms, grabbing his bag, and exits the car.

He pays the driver through the window and turns around, walking into the building.

Once inside, he wastes no time in making for the elevator, summoning it.

It dings at its arrival, opening up another occupant walks out- quirking an eyebrow at Shouta and the armful of a child. He steps into the elevator, ignoring their silent question as the doors slide shut cutting them from view.

Pushing in his floor number, the elevator then gives a jerk- starting its upwards journey.

After a few seconds it jerks once more- stopping.

Stepping out, he walks along the deserted hallway. The kid was stirring again, a sign that he may wake soon.

He stills in his arms as Shouta arrives at his door. Fumbling with the lock, he swings it open and three loud meows instantly greets him as he does so.

With care, he deposits the kid on one of the sofas, instantly curling in on himself as he is set down.

Shouta collapses upon the second sofa with a deep weary exhale.

Across from him, Mocha jumps onto the back of the sofa the kid is curled up on. Her violent eyes stare down at the small bundle, before training her gaze onto him with a question he’s been silently asking himself all morning.

 

 

What are you going to do now?